Large Cardamom, one of the high value spice crop has gained renewed interest among farmers since last decade in Nepal. Higher net return and suitability in wider range of mid hills in Nepal is a major factor attracting this crop for the replacement of other crops. Despite profitability, there are major challenges in production due to biotic factors. Serious yield losses in this crop has reported during past 10 years and as this is perennial, farmers are disappointed with the current production and profitability for long run. In this study, an attempt has been made to explore potential causes of the decline in in eastern hills of Nepal. For this, household survey was conducted in five districts of eastern Nepal during 2016. Lack of disease resistant/tolerant varietal option and inadequate management practices are reported to be the major problems for promoting disease spread in the eastern region. The public sectors have been unable to fulfil the high demand of new saplings. Rhizome rot remains the most prevalent disease in studied districts followed by wilting. The study suggest plan of actions to implement for the good orchard management to address the problem of biotic factors in short run; technology development and adoption to mitigate biotic problems in large cardamom in long run.
Root architecture traits are important for plant productivity under soil water deficit. The main objective of the present investigation was to assess the effects of deficit irrigation at flowering and grain filling and genotype on maize root traits and grain yield. Twenty two maize genotypes were evaluated in the field under three irrigation regimes; well watering (WW), water stress at flowering (WSF) and at grain filling (WSG) using a split-plot design with three replications. WSF and WSG caused significant reductions of 28.69 and 20.26% in grain yield/plant and 35.53 and 25.51% in grain yield/ha, respectively. WSF caused a significant reduction in four root traits, namely number of aboveground whorls occupied with brace roots (9.31%), number of brace roots (18.27%), number of crown roots (11.50%) and root dry weight (28.31%), but caused a significant increase (elongation) in crown root length (9.90%). On the contrary, WSG caused significant increases in three root traits, namely number of brace roots (10.10%), number of crown roots (14.71%) and root dry weight (11.60%), but caused a significant reduction in branching density of crown roots (10.05%). Significant differences were observed among genotypes for all studied root traits and grain yield across all irrigation regimes. The best genotypes in grain yield under drought at either flowering or grain filling were characterized by more than one desirable root traits. The cultivars P-3444, Egaseed-77 and SC-128 were considered tolerant genotypes to drought at flowering and grain filling and would be recommended to future breeding programs for improving maize drought tolerance.
The experiment was carried out at the Horticulture Farm of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka during September 2016 to December 2016 to find out the growth, yield and economic benefit of cabbage as influenced by nutrients and leaf plucking. The research comprises of two factors: Factor A: NPK nutrients (four levels) as- N0 = control, N1 = N120P30 K100kg ha-1, N2 = N140P 40 K120kg ha-1, N3 = N160P50 K140kg ha-1and Factor B: leaf plucking (three levels) as- L0 = No leaf plucked, L1 = 4-leaves plucked and L2 = 6-leaves plucked. The experiment was set up in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. In case of nutrients, the highest gross yield (90.53 t ha-1) and marketable yield (68.95 t ha-1) were obtained from N3, while the lowest gross yield (60.26 t ha-1) and marketable yield (44.24 t ha-1) from N0. For dissimilar levels of leaf plucking, the highest gross yield (80.64 t ha-1) and marketable yield (62.08 t ha-1) were recorded from L1, whereas the lowest gross yield (74.13 t ha-1) and marketable yield (56.96 t ha-1) from L0. Due to combined effect, the highest gross yield (94.38 t ha-1) and marketable yield (71.91 t ha-1) were recorded from N3L1, whereas the lowest gross yield (58.75 t ha-1) and marketable yield (41.15 t ha-1) from N0L0. From the economic point of view, the highest benefit cost ratio (BCR) was2.35 noted from N3L1 and the lowest (1.63) from N0L0. It is evident that the N3L1 gave the best performance for the growth, yield and economic benefit of cabbage. So, N140 P 50 K120kg ha-1 with 4-leaves plucked may be considered as an optimum dose for cabbage production.
The study was conducted at the Department of Horticulture, KNUST to determine the effect of ash-based storage media (plantain leaf ash, cocoa pod husk ash and coconut husk ash) on the physical quality characteristics and shelf life of three cultivars of Lebombo, Nemoneta and Pomodoro Principe tomato fruits grown in the Greenhouse at the Department of Horticulture, KNUST and stored for 6weeks at an average temperature of 27.34°C and 74.85 %RH. A Completely Randomized Design in factorial design was used with three replications. Fruit firmness, pericarp thickness, moisture content, postharvest fruit decay and shelf life were evaluated. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance at 1% using statistix version 10 statistical package tool. Significant differences (p≤0.01) were observed among the tomato cultivars stored in the different storage media used. Plantain leaf ash storage of the three tomato cultivars had firmer fruits (39.94N), thickest fruits pericarp (6.41 mm), highest moisture content (83.00%), minimum postharvest fruit decay (21.80%) and the longest shelf life (40 days) than the Control, Cocoa pod husk ash and Coconut husk ash storage. Nemoneta (35.75N) and Lebombo (34.92N) tomato fruits stored in the different storage media significantly recorded the firmest fruits as compared to Pomodoro Principe fruits (19.04N). The thickest fruits pericarp (6.11 mm) was also observed in Lebombo tomato fruits whiles the highest moisture content (83.25%), lowest postharvest decay (40.08%) and the longest shelf life (28days) was observed in Nemoneta fruits stored in the different storage media used. The study revealed that both Cocoa pod and Coconut husk ash storage of the tomato fruits were detrimental to postharvest fruit quality as it resulted in soft fruits texture, short shelf life, high moisture loss and high postharvest decay. However, Plantain leaf ash storage was best in maintaining the physical quality characteristics thus extending shelf life of the tomato fruits to 40 days.
Poor soil fertility is a major constraint for crop production that is commonly corrected with inorganic fertilizers, but their high cost or environmental and health effects have necessitated alternative management strategies. Hence, the dry biomass of Mexican sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) was evaluated as a sustainable alternative resource to improve soil fertility and production of African nightshade (Solanum nigrum L.) A field experiment was laid out as randomized complete block design with four treatments (Control – no fertilizer, urea, NPK and Tithonia) and four replications. Soil available phosphorus ranged from 10.3–16.3 mg kg-1 and differed significantly (P ˂ 0.05) across treatments, with the highest in Tithonia and NPK as compared to urea and control. In comparison to the baseline soil, residual soil phosphorus increased by 7.7% for Tithonia, but decreased by 1.7% for NPK, 27.7% for control, and 46.3% for urea. The yield of African nightshade correlated significantly (P < 0.05) with the content of soil available phosphorus, and ranged from 8.6–14.9 t ha-1 fresh and 1.5–2.5 t ha-1 dry biomass that differed significantly (P ˂ 0.05) across treatments, with the highest in NPK as compared to control. Plant height ranged from 24.6–33.2 cm and differed significantly (P ˂ 0.05) across treatments, with the highest in NPK. The number of leaves ranged from 80–117 per plant and differed significantly (P < 0.05) across treatments, with the highest in NPK as compared to urea. Both Tithonia and inorganic fertilizers increased the yield of African nightshade comparatively, which demonstrates the potential of Tithonia biomass as a sustainable alternative resource for soil fertility management in vegetable production systems.