MARKETABLE YIELD AND FRUIT QUALITY OF TWO TOMATO (Lycopersicum esculentum (L.) H. Karst) VARIETIES AS INFLUENCED BY NITROGEN SOURCE AND ORGANIC MULCHING MATERIAL IN THE DRY SEASON

J. N. Ainika, S. T. Yusuf, A. J. Odofin, H. Ibrahim, U. L. Arunah

Abstract


Postharvest losses in tomato can be either quantitative or qualitative. Even though emphasis in crop research nowadays is increasingly shifting from quantity to quality of produce, there is still little improvement in the quality of commercially- produced tomato varieties, hence resulting in high quality losses. Two field trials were conducted in the dry seasons of 2016 and2017 at the Irrigation Research Farm of the Institute for Agricultural Research, Kadawa, Kano State (11 39' N 080' 027'E, 500 m above sea level)  in the Sudan Savanna ecological zone of Nigeria. Treatments consisted of two tomato varieties (UC82B and Rio Grande), two organic mulches (Rice straw and Sugar-cane peels) at recommended rates of 5.5 t ha  and 11.0 t ha  (4 cm thick),respectively, with a control (No mulch) and three nitrogen sources (Mineral fertilizer, Poultry droppings and Mineral fertilizer + Poultry droppings at recommended rate of 90 kg N ha  with a control (No application). Varieties and nitrogen sources were assigned to the main plots while sugar-cane peels mulch was assigned to the sub plots and replicated three times. The two varieties did not differ significantly (P≤0.05) in all the quality traits evaluated. Tomato fruit qualities (appearance, decay, shelf life) as well nutritional qualities and marketable fruit yield were significantly enhanced by nitrogen sourced from organic sources(poultry manure and mineral fertilizer + poultry manure relative to the unfertilized plots (control) while inorganic nitrogen sources was significantly lower.  It can be concluded that poultry droppings at recommended rate of  2.88 t  could be applied for enhanced fruit quality and marketable yield of tomato on sustainable bases. The two organic mulching materials are recommended for increased marketable and  fruit quality of tomato. For better fruit quality of tomato any of the variety could be used in the Sudan ecological zone of  Nigeria.


Keywords


Fruit quality; Nitrogen sources; Organic mulches; Tomato

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