Effect of Seed Rate, Sowing Method and Poultry Manure on the Performance of Finger Millet Eleusine coracana L. V.N:S:N: Gaertn. in Samaru northern Guinea Savanna, NigeriaGani, M., Mahadi, M. A. Dadari, S. A. Babaji, B. A. and Shinggu, C. P..
Field trials were conducted during the 2013 and 2014 rainy seasons, at the research farm of the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University, Samaru, Zaria. (lat. 110 111 N, long. 070 381 E, 686m above sea level) in the northern Guinea savanna ecology of Nigeria to assess the effects of seed rate, sowing method and poultry manure rate on the performance of finger millet. Treatments consisted of two sowing methods (broadcast and dibbling), three seed rates each (3, 6 and 9 kg ha-1) and poultry manure at (0, 2.5 and 5.0 t ha-1) as well as the recommended NPK rate (90 kg N, 26.2 kg P and 49.8 kg K) ha-1. The experiment was laid out in a split-plot design with three replications. A factorial combination of sowing method and poultry manure constituted the main plot, while seed rate constituted the subplots. In this study, the higher seed rates gave more stand count which invariably translated to higher grain yield ha-1. The lowest seed rate significantly produced better growth attributes such as plant height, leaf area index, number of tillers plant-1, crop growth rate and relative growth rate but lower grain yield ha-1. Dibbling method recorded higher growth parameters such as plant height, leaf area index, number of tillers plant-1, crop growth rate, relative growth rate and consequently out yielded broadcast method. Also the application of lower poultry manure rate of 2.5 t ha-1 produced optimum and similar performance of growth characters which translated into higher grain yield ha-1 comparable to the application of 5 t ha-1 poultry manure and recommended NPK fertilizer, except in 2014 where 5 t ha-1 poultry manure gave lower grain yield ha-1. The combinations of dibbling method at 6 kg seed ha-1 and 9 kg seed ha-1 with either sowing methods gave highest grain yield ha-1. Based on the result obtained from this study, it can be concluded that dibbling finger millet at 6 kg seed ha-1 with the application of 2.5 t ha-1 was promising for maximum grain yield of finger millet which was comparable to application of recommended NPK fertilizer.
Finger Millet, Seed Rate, Sowing Method, Poultry Manure, Grain Yield