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Yields and cost-benefit analysis of sweet corn production in the guinea Savanna of Northern Nigeria

Sani, Y.A., Usman, S., Omenesa, Z., Sambo, I.J.
Acta horticulturae 2013 no.1007 pp. 563-569
NPK fertilizers, Zea mays, corn, cost benefit analysis, costs and returns, demonstration farms, fertilizer rates, field experimentation, food security, horticultural crops, ingestion, irrigation rates, irrigation scheduling, savannas, spatial distribution, sweetcorn, yield components, Nigeria
Sweet corn (Zea mays saccharata L.) is one of the horticultural crops that have the potential to contribute substantially to the efforts towards the realization of food security in Nigeria. The Nigerian populace is used to eating almost all maize varieties green (either boiled, baked or roasted). However, the scientific information available with regards to the response of the crop to different levels of NPK fertilizer, irrigation scheduling and intra-row spacing for its optimum production in the country is very limited. Therefore, field trials were conducted for three consecutive dry seasons on the experimental farm of the Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Kadawa Irrigation Station in Northern Nigeria to study the effects of three levels of NPK fertilizer, three levels of irrigation interval and three intra-row spacings on yields and economic returns of sweet corn. A split-plot design was used with factorial combination of fertilizer and irrigation assigned to main plots, while intra-row spacing was allocated to sub-plot. The treatment combinations were replicated three times. The investigation revealed that the use of 120:60:60 kg NPK ha-1 plus 10 days irrigation intervals and 20 cm intra-row spacing resulted in good growth, yield and quality of sweet corn. The NPK ratio used significantly enhanced yield components such as 1000-grain weight and fresh cob yield. Irrigation interval had significant influenced on the two parameters tested whereby increasing irrigation interval from 5 to 10 days significantly increased 1000-grain weight and fresh cob yield. Similarly the effect of intra-row spacing was significant on 1000-grain weight. The cost-benefit analysis shows that growing sweet corn under the treatments combination of NPK fertilizer rate of 90:45:45 kg ha-1, 15 days irrigation interval and 20 cm intra-row spacing had the highest gross margin of N 840, 5221($ 1= N 150) and benefit-cost ratio of 1.51 while cost/benefit ratio is 0.66.