PRODUCTIVITY OF OKRA VARIETIES AS INFLUENCED BY SEASONAL CHANGES IN NORTHERN NIGERIA
In northern Nigeria, two distinct season are noticeable and these are the wet (April to October) and the dry (November to March) seasons. Due to little or no documented work conducted to investigate the influence of climatic changes on the performance of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench), this study is therefore undertaken to compare the performance of okra during the wet and the dry seasons of northern Nigeria. Two okra varieties ('White velvet' and 'Ex-Borno') were evaluated during the 1997 and 1999 wet seasons and 1997/98 and 1999/2000 dry seasons at Samaru in northern Nigeria, in order to determine their productivity. The variables measured at the reproductive stage were plant height, number of leaves/plant, leaf area, days to first flower, fruit weight/plant and fruit yield (t/ha). Significant differences were observed for all variables among seasons and among varieties. The wet season conditions were most favourable for increased growth, leaf formation and fruit yield, as compared with the dry season environment which resulted in less vegetative and reproductive growth. The interaction of season x variety was highly significant for plant height, fruit weight/plant, fruit yield and significant for leaf area and number of fruits/plant. The variety 'White velvet' produced more fruits than 'Ex-Borno'.
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