An experiment to determine the effect of poultry manure (PM) application rates on growth and yield of S. senegalensis was conducted at the Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The experiment was a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) of four rates of poultry manure (0, 10, 20 and 30 t ha–1) replicated three times. Analysis of variance results indicated that PM significantly (p < 0.05) influenced most of the growth attributes measured with 20 t ha-1 having the longest vine (106.5 and 140.3 cm) at 4 and 5 MAT, respectively. It also produced more leaves (77.9, 132.1, 175.9 and 250) at 2, 3, 4 and 5 MAT, respectively and had the highest number of branches of 13.85, 22.70, 27.6, 39.2 and 61.1 across the months. Most of the phenological traits were positively influenced by PM rates. Earliest days to 60% (138.0 days) and 100% (167.0 days) flower bud formation, flower bud break (191.0 days) and fruit formation (194.3 days) were associated with 30 t ha–1 of PM. Poultry manure had no significant effect on all the yield components and yield measured. Although, PM applied at 20 t ha–1 had the earliest days (706) to harvest and had the tendency to increase S. senegalensis yield. Further increase of PM rate beyond 20 t ha–1 decreased growth and yield traits taken. The use of PM at 20 t ha–1 appeared optimum and could be recommended for the cultivation of S, senegalensis in the study area.
Key words: Saba senegalensis, poultry manure, food insecurity, growth, yield.
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