The Agronomic effectiveness of Liquid Manure extracts derived from comfrey(Symphytum officinale)and tithonia( tithonia diversifolia).
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Greenhouse and field studies were conducted to evaluate manure extracts and their effect on crop yield and selected soil chemical and microbial properties. For the green house study, comfrey and tithonia plant materials were each used at rates of 0.0625, 0.0935, 0.125 and 0.156 kg per litre of water. The experiment was laid out as a completely randomized design. For the field studies, six combinations of comfrey and tithonia were used at 0 kg, 0.156 kg comfrey, 0.156 kg tithonia,0.0781 kg comfrey + 0.0781 kg tithonia, 0.117 kg comfrey + 0.0391 kg tithonia and 0.0391 kg comfrey + 0.117 kg tithonia per litre of water. The experiment was laid out as a randomized complete block design two sites; Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC) and Mount Makulu Agricultural Research Station (MARS) were used for the field studies, rape and tomato were used as test crops. Application of manure extracts increased biomass yield of rape to between 2.8g (DM) per pot(comfrey 0.0625 kg) and 12.79g(DM) per pot (tithonia 0.125kg). The leaf biomass increased with increased biomass of comfrey, while no particular pattern was observed for tithonia. Similarly, the application of manure extracts increased the biomass yield of tomato to between 6.67g (DM) per pot (comfrey 0.0625 kg) and 13.99g(DM) per pot(tithonia 0.0938 kg). Mixing of comfrey and tithonia residues in the preparation of their manure extracts resulted in increased tomato yield to between 5.2 tons ha-1(0.0391 kg comfrey +0.117 kg tithonia) and 9.5 tons ha-1( 0.156 kg comfrey) for KATC and 32.7 tons ha-1 (0.156 kg comfrey) and 40.2 tons ha-1 (0.156 kg tithonia) for MARS. Furthermore soil pH, P,K,Ca,Mg were positively influenced by the application of manure extracts. Although the extracts had high EC values, these did not have a drastic effect on the soil.
- Agricultural Sciences