Performance of Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) as Influenced by 2,4 – Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid and NPK Fertilizer

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The Guinea savannah zone of Nigeria is beset by increasing population and infrastructural development, thereby putting pressure on available land with rapidly declining fertility due to low organic matter content, soil erosion, high temperature and seasonal bush burning. Sesame is cultivated in this zone and the yield has remained very low, compared to yield in other parts of the world. This could be attributed to poor nutrient status and poor cultural practices used by peasant farmers. A field experiment was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm, University of Ilorin, Nigeria, in a southern Guinea savannah zone in 2015 and repeated in 2016 cropping season to determine the effects of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), a plant growth regulator and NPK fertilizer on the growth and yield of sesame. The experiment was laid out as a factorial arrangement, fitted into a randomized complete block design replicated thrice. The factors imposed were 2,4-D (0, 5 and 10 ppm ha−1) and NPK 15:15:15 (0, 100, 200 and 300 kg ha−1). Data were collected on vegetative traits (plant height, number of leaves, leaf area) and yield components (number of capsules per plant; yield per plant and per hectare). The data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using the Genstat statistical package 17th edition and significant means were separated by using the least significant difference at 5% level of probability. The result revealed that using plant growth regulator and NPK fertilizer had significant effects (p<0.05) on plant height (151 cm) and yield per hectare (530 kg/ha). The qualitative and quantitative analysis of the seeds further reaffirmed the presence of bioactive compounds, such as saponins, tannins, flavonoids and phenolic compounds, which are important health promoting food in the seeds.

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