Field Evaluation of Some Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench) Varieties in the Humid Tropics, Rivers State (Published)
A study on the suitability of seven different Okra Varieties (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench) was conducted at the Rivers State University Teaching and Research Farm Nkpolu-Oruworukwo, Port Harcourt. The seven Okra varieties comprise of five exotic and two landraces (Kirikou, Madison, Clemson Spineless, Hire, Sahari, Ogbami and Chuku-chuku) were planted in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with five replications. The results obtained showed that Madison variety had the highest (P<0.05) mean plant height followed by Clemson spineless variety. Clemson Spineless and Madison varieties significantly (P<0.05) matured earlier at 10 weeks after planting. Clemson Spineless variety consequently produced higher (P<0.05) yield of okra (29.13 t/ha) and supported higher okra growth, number of leaves and leaf area than other studied varieties. A positive correlation was established between total weight of fresh okro and 8th weeks leaf area (r = 0.85); total insect count and 8th weeks leaf area (r = 0.95) respectively. There were significant differences (P<0.05) on the insect pest damage on the leaves of the studied okra varieties. The result established that the Okra flea beetle Podagrica spp. remain the major insect pest of Okra in the study area causing very severe damage (defoliation) on the leaves of the tested exotic okra varieties. The experimental results however revealed higher susceptibility of the two land races (Ogbami and Chuku-chuku) to waterlogged environment due to excessive heavy rainfall. This experiment therefore recommends the cultivation of Clemson Spineless, Sahari and Madison okra varieties to our farmers for higher and better Okra production.