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Abstract

Loss of soil fertility as a result of continuous cropping on the same piece of land has necessitated the need to improve soil fertility for better crop yields. Inorganic and organic fertilizers have been used to improve soil fertility, however, excessive use of soil amendments improve vegetative growth of plants thereby attracting large numbers of insect pests. Cow dung and poultry droppings were used as soil amendments in a field experiment using eggplant Solanum melongena. The effects of these organic manures were compared with inorganic fertilizer (NPK) and a control where there was no application of soil amendment in a randomized complete block design with 3 replicates. Parameters studied were pests’ and their numbers, plant height, number of leaves per plant, leaf area, stem girth and yield. The major insect pests identified on the plant were Bemisia tabaci, Aphis gossypii, Leucinodes orbonalis and Eublemma olivacea. Bemisia tabaci and Aphis gossypii scores were significantly larger on cow dung and poultry manure plots. Leucinodes orbonalis and Eublemma olivacea numbers were not significantly different on the treated and control plots. Mean plant height, number of leaves and yield differed significantly among the soil amended plots. Even though soil amendments improve the nutrient content of the soil and the yield of crops it could lead to increase in pests numbers and damage caused to plants.

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