ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 86 Number 3
Response of plant and ratoon plantain crops to K20 fertilization in the rain forest zone of Cross River State. (103)
Nutrient potassium is critical in plantain (Musa species cv. AAB) nutrition. It plays a key role in the vegetative growth and bunch development. Application of 300 kg muriate of potash (K20) per hectare was beneficial in the plant crop, while a higher rate (400 kg K20/ha) enhanced growth and favorable yield components (number of hands and fingers/bunch, finger mass, girth and length). Plants fertilized with 400 kg K20/ha were tallest (3.5m), had largest pseudostem girth (56-58cm) with highest (11-12) number of functional leaves at flowering and attained flowering stage after 9 mouths of vegetative growth. Bunch mass, bunch yield/ha and yield components were significantly (P = 0.05) highest at 300 kg k20/ha in plant crop and at 400 kg K20/ha in ratoon crop. Heaviest bunches were 8.8 and 9.8 kg/plant in plant and ratoon crops, respectively, giving the respective corresponding bunch yields of 14.66 and 16.33 tonnes/ha. Application of 400 kg K20/ha appeared adequate for sustainable production of false horn plantain in the high rainforest zone of Cross River State.
Keywords: False horn plantain, growth cycle, K20 fertilization, plant crop, ratoon crop, rainforest zone