Soil amendment with poultry manure, single super phosphate and Bacillus subtilis inoculant improved performance of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) on sandy loam

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O.O. Ogunkunle
K.R. Kutu
O.O. Fawibe
O.A. Dada


Background and Objectives: Phosphorus (P) deficiency often limits the yield of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) on highly weathered soils. Applying biofertilizers and organic fertilizers is a promising alternative to fossil-based fertilizers for improving P availability. The effect of organic and inorganic fertilizers and biofertilizers in improving growth and P uptake in cowpeas is poorly understood. Hence, the response of cowpeas to poultry manure, Bacillus subtilis inoculant, and single super phosphate (SSP) fertilizer was investigated during the 2020 and 2021 cropping seasons.
Methodology: Treatments comprised two cowpea cultivars (FUAMPEA-2 and Ife Brown) and three soil amendments: poultry manure, B. subtilis, SSP fertilizer, and unamended soil, which served as the control. The factorial experiment had eight treatments arranged in a completely randomized design and was replicated six times. Data on collected on leaves, leaf area, stem diameter, yield components, and proximate composition were analyzed with ANOVA and means separated with LSD at P < 0.05.
Main Results: The number of leaves (26.58 ± 18.08), leaf area (5,058 ± 3,472 cm2), and stem diameter (5.61 ± 2.30 mm) of Ife Brown improved significantly on soil augmented with poultry manure. On the contrary, FUAMPEA-2 had a higher number of seeds (33.33 ± 18.97), grain yield/plant (48.23 ± 44.21 g), and harvest index (0.59 ± 0.58) on soil amended with poultry manure. Crude protein (34.2%), crude fat (6.0%), and seed P content of 10.75 g/kg were highest in FUAMPEA-2 sown on soil fertilized with SSP. There was an improvement in essential mineral nutrients in soil supplied with organic fertilizer relative to nutrients recorded on unfertilized soil.
Conclusions: The augmentation of marginal soil with poultry manure enhanced the growth and grain yield of FUAMPEA-2 remarkably while improving biomass accumulation in Ife Brown.

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