Cotton Research: Potassium application boosts yield and fiber quality

Among various problem-solving researches being carried out at AMU, research farm adjoining Shara village is a thematic project – ‘Influence of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus on Yield and Quality of Cotton,’ by Andargachew Ditebo, who is investigating to what quantity of fertilizer will be appropriate to boost cotton yield and enhance its quality. The research output might prove to be fruitful for farmers.Click here to see the photos

 

The research has already completed first phase and in second phase cotton fiber quality and strength will be analyzed; soil characteristic and other corresponding agronomic parameters will be studied, said co-investigator, Dr Dereje Tsegaye.

Elaborating further, he said, agronomic aspect like growth, leaf area index, yield component i.e. weight of cotton pod will be looked into; he stressed, if plants get good nutrient, it will have many pods. This area has good alluvial soil but deficient in potassium. Similarly, factors such as soil moisture, pH level, etc. play significant role in plant’s growth and total yield, he adds.

In the research, cotton variety - DP-116, appropriated from Werer Agricultural Research Centre, Awash Valley is planted that gives better yield by using fertilizer combo of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

On distinctive feature of research, he says, cotton is a cash crop of Omo Valley and farmers here didn’t know application of exact fertilizer rate, traditionally they use 150 kilograms per hectare and yield isn’t that much impressive; therefore, research will ascertain as to how much fertilizer will be fruitful.

He said, it’s Randomized Complete Block design and Factorial RCB Design, wherein 18 plots are under three blocks with 3-stage replication of fertilizer; Potassium has 2-level of 50kg and 100kg/ha, Nitrogen’s 3-level 150, 100 & 38.75kg/ha and Phosphorus’ 150, 100 & 38.75kg/hectare respectively. He adds that Phosphorus and Potassium are applied before plantation while Nitrogen is used in split manner.

At this stage major findings indicate that with application of 100 kg/ha plants perform better; therefore, application of high rate (100kg) of fertilizers make plants give better yield. Beginning from July 2018, data i.e. leaf area index, length, weight of bole; height and mass of plant have been collected.

In the second phase after harvesting, fiber quality and biological weight of cotton will be measured; soon collected data will be analyzed. He said, potassium is important to improve cotton fiber as farmers are not aware about its potential.

Further he adds cotton is a lowland crop that needs constant irrigation and this belt is suitable for growth. Therefore, we want to know why quality and fiber isn’t good; we will go to Addis Ababa to get the data analyzed, thereafter, standardized output will be shared with community farmers, he summed up.

(Corporate Communicate Directorate)