EFFECT OF CASHEW (ANACARDIUM OCCIDENTALE L) NUT SIZE ON NURSERY AND FIELD PERFORMANCE
Published: 5 Aug 2019
Abstract: Cashew germination and seedling vigour as influenced by the nut size was investigated in the nursery as well as on the field, using small, medium and large sized nuts categories. The study which was carried out at the Kogi State University, Anyigba Faculty of Agriculture (Longitude: 70 431 E, Latitude 70 61 N), in the Southern Guinea Savanna ecological zone, Nigeria investigated the response of varying cashew nut size (small 5.0 – 6.9 g/nut, medium 6.0 – 7.9 g/nut and large 8.0 – 9.9 g/nut) to seedling emergence, growth and development in the nursery, while seedlings which were sown out into the field in February, 2017 after been in the nursery for 6 months were investigated for field establishment, growth parameters, days to flowering and commencement of fruiting. The results obtained showed that small-sized nuts compared favourably with large-sized nuts, while superseding medium-sized nuts both in the nursery as well as on the field for most of the studied parameters in nursery as well as on the field. These nuts (small-sized) were not at any disadvantage in respect to their ability to germinate when compared with other sizes investigated. Instead they showed the highest average percentage germination in the nursery (100%), while large-sized nuts recorded the lowest average germination percentage (84.62%), as compared to the other treatments. This outcome reveals that contrary to previous deductions on small nuts, small small-sized nut did not negatively influence nut’s days to germination, total percentage germination, nor seedling establishment on the field though affected earliness. The superiority of larger nuts was however observed in the field (height, girth, earliness), regarding parameters studied. The goal of the grower should then determine the choice of nut size selected for planting, but uniformity among nuts should be maintained.
Keywords: germination, height, stem-girth, main branches and days to flowering
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