Background: Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench), is an economically important vegetable crop with a potential to increase farm incomes of small producers. This is because okra is popular, easy to grow, and valuable with average retail prices of up to $7.07/kg. In Texas, research has shown that diversification of farm operations boosts income and farm sustainability. Hence, exposing farmers to economically important crops that are not typically grown is necessary. Production success is linked to crop variety choices. As result, the objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of multiple varieties of okra (Red Burgundy, Jambalaya, Zarah and Hybrid Green Sparkler) to determine the variety with the highest yield and profitability. We hypothesized that yield and revenue will differ among the okra varieties. Methods: In this study, each okra variety was grown in replicates on three plots. The plants were established at a density of 16,600 plants ha-1 using plasticulture and drip irrigation. N and K were supplied at 33.60 kgha-1 and 11.2 kgha-1 respectively according to soil test recommendations. The okra was picked every other day to prevent development of undesirable pods. Results and Conclusion: When comparing the number of pods per plant, Red Burgundy had a greater yield as compared to Jambalaya (p < 0.05), but the yield was similar to the Zarah and Hybrid Green Sparkler varieties. Similarly, Zarah had a greater yield as compared to Jambalaya but similar to Hybrid Green Sparkler. In terms of pod weight per plant, Red Burgundy’s weight was statistically greater than Jambalaya but similar to the other varieties. Estimated revenue per hectare for Red Burgundy, Zarah, Jambalaya, Hybrid Green Sparkler were $9,565.00, $7,018.20, $6,290.60 and $6,020.00, respectively. These represent 58.9%, 16.6% and 4.5% revenue increase over the green hybrid sparkler variety. Frozen okra revenue estimates followed the same trend. These findings suggests that Red Burgundy provides the highest revenue potential in terms of production and economics and would be the best variety for farmers in East Texas to grow.
Harris, Phillip; Obeng, Eric; Weerasooriya, Aruna; and Ampim, Peter
"Economic Potential of Okra Cultivation for Limited Resource Farmers,"
Pursue: Undergraduate Research Journal: Vol. 2
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pvamu.edu/pursue/vol2/iss1/2