Comparative Effects of Poultry Manure and NPK Rates on Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus L.) Production in Rivers State, Southern Rainforest, Nigeria (Published)
A 2 x 4 x 3 rain fed factorial experiment arranged in a randomized complete block design, was carried out to compare the effects of poultry manure [PM] with N.P.K. (15:15:15) rates on sunflower in rivers state, southern rainforest of Nigeria. PM and NPK rates were 0, 5, 10, and 20g per seedling per pot. Data collected were plant height [at; 4, 6, 8 and 10 weeks after planting (WAP)]; number of leaves, leaf area (LA) at 6 WAP; head diameter, head weight, number of seeds per head and seed weight at harvest. Results show that NPK initially produced taller plants but PM increased growth rate with time over NPK. PM at 5, 10 and 20 g produced taller sunflower plants at 10 WAP over NPK rates. There was no significant difference in the number of leaves between plants that received PM and NPK, though NPK influenced higher LA. Head diameter, head weight and seed weight increased with doses of both fertilizers, 20 g PM produced sunflower plants with the widest diameter and weightiest seeds. While number of seeds increased with PM rates, the highest number of seeds with NPK application was at 5 g application. This was still lower than the highest number of seeds produced by sunflower plants fertilized with 20 g PM. Application of 20 g PM produced plants with highest growth rate, wider head diameter, highest number and seed weight. Twenty (20 g) PM application rate per seedling is recommended for Sunflower production in southern rainforest, Nigeria. A further study on higher PM levels is also recommended.