RESPONSE OF CASHEW SEEDLINGS FROM DIFFERENT NUT SIZES TO PHOSPHATE FERTILIZERS AND ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL INOCULATION IN TWO SOILS IN NIGERIA
Ibiremo, O.S., Olubamiwa, O., Agbeniyi, S.O and Akanbi, O.S.O
|Corresponding Author: Ibiremo, O.S.,, E-mail: [email protected]|
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Cashew (Anacardium occidentale Linn) is an export-earning crop and is cultivated in many agro – ecological zones in Nigeria. Its growth and productivity are being limited by low soil fertility particularly phosphorus deficiency among others. Hence an investigation was carried out to evaluate response of cashew seedlings from different nut sizes to phosphate fertilizers and Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation under greenhouse conditions. The three factors investigated were nut sizes (small and large), phosphate fertilizers (Single super phosphate – SSP and Sokoto rock phosphate – SRP) applied at 11kg P205ha-1 and AM fungi inoculation – at two levels (with and without). Cashew nuts were planted into 5kg top soil (0-30cm) obtained from the two sites. The trial was conducted in the greenhouse using completely randomized design and four replicates. Height, stem diameter, dry matter and nutrient uptake were assessed. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA. In the study, the interaction of phosphate fertilizer application, nut size and mycorrhizal inoculation did not significantly influence the height and stem diameter of cashew seedlings in Ibadan soil at 1-4 MAP while in Uhonmora the interaction was only significant (p<0.05) at 3 MAP. The shoot and total dry matter yield of seedlings from large nuts without AM inoculation under SSP application was significantly (p< 0.05) higher than the shoot and total dry matter yield of seedlings from small nuts with or without AM inoculation in Uhonmora. In Ibadan soil, phosphate fertilizer, nut sizes and AM inoculation significantly (p< 0.05) enhanced the total N, P, K, Ca and Mg uptake of cashew seedlings. Soil pH and inorganic P were significantly (p< 0.005) affected by phosphate fertilizer, nut sizes and AM inoculation in Uhonmora soil. SRP had a comparable influence with SSP particularly under AM inoculation on cashew seedling growth performance in the two soils.