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The effect of sugarcane stillage on the yield of butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata) grown at Tambankulu Estates, a semi-arid region in the north eastern Lowveld of Eswatini

Journal: International Journal of Environment, Agriculture and Biotechnology (Vol.4, No. 5)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 1315-1319

Keywords : Sugarcane stillage; fertilizer; butternut squash.;

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An experiment was conducted to compare the effect of sugarcane distillery waste (stillage) and chemical fertilizer (N:P:K; 2:3:2 (22)) on the yield of butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata) grown under rain-fed conditions at Tambankulu Estates in the north eastern Lowveld of Eswatini. The experiment was run for a period of two years. Three levels of fertilizer, 43 kg, 86 kg and 129 kg and three levels of stillage 296 liters, 585 liters and 876 liters were applied to plots each measuring 450 m2.Yield (fruit weight) and fruit size (fruit length and diameter) characteristics were measured at harvest. Data was subjected to the analysis of variance as per the design of the experiment. Yield and fruit length showed highly significant differences between the factors and levels whereas there were no significant differences in diameter. The highest yield of 960 g/fruit was recorded for stillage when applied at 585 liters followed by the highest concentration of 876 liters that yielded 950 g/fruit. The lowest level of fertilizer yielded the lowest yield of 721 g/fruit, with the two higher levels of fertilizer yielding the same 810 g/fruit. The control treatments with no fertilizer or stillage yielded the same lowest yield on average 550 g. The results of the experiment show that distillery waste (stillage) can be effectively used in the production of butternut squash in place of 2:3:2 (22) fertilizer.

Last modified: 2019-09-15 12:43:12