Field trials were conducted in 2003 and 2004 at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Ibadan (7o 38’ N 3o 84’ E), Nigeria to determine the influence of some agronomic practices on yield and profitability in kenaf bast fibre production. Three kenaf varieties, Cuba 108, Ifeken 400 and Ibadan local, were subjected to three agronomic practices in a split-plot experiment. The agronomic practices include the farmers’ practice where no input was used and two levels of improved management practices (IMP) where the influence of pests and soil nutrition were ameliorated. The results showed that total dry matter, fibre and core yields increased by 150 – 170%, incidence of nematode reduced by 50% and severity scores of insects attack on foliage reduced by 83% in the improved management practice (IMP). The three kenaf varieties differ significantly in their leaf biomass, reaction to nematode and foliage pests attack. In the control treatment, Ibadan local had more leaf biomass and was tolerant to pests attack while other varieties were susceptible. Economic analysis showed that net return was higher in the local cultivar than in the improved varieties under the farmers’ practice. However, economic returns and marginal rate of returns were higher under IMP’s than the control in Cuba 108 and Ifeken 100 varieties than the local cultivar.
Key words: Management practices, economic viability, soil nutrition, pest.
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