Maximization of yield, profitable returns and sustainability in vegetable production requires optimal quantity of nutrient in the soil. Low soil nutrient level has been associated to bitter fruits in cucumber production. The objective of this study was to examine the gross margin and benefit to cost ratio of the combined use of different levels of (NPK 15:15:15) fertilizer (0, 30 and 60kg Nha-1) and compost (0, 5, 10t/ha) on the yield and economic returns of two varieties of cucumber (Markeumore and Poinsett) The experiment was conducted at the National Horticultural Research Institute, Ibadan on Egbeda and Iregun soil series. The experimeta designsplit-split block design with variety, NPK levels and compost as main, sub and sub-sub plot respectively and replicated thrice. Result of the analysis showed that labour cost accounted for 60% of the total cost in all the treatment. Highest yield of 15tha-1 of cucumber, gross returns of N1,650,000ha-1, gross margin of N1,322,370ha-1 and benefit cost ratio of 6:4:1 were recorded in Egbeda series with Marketmore 30kgNha-1 while the least yield of 0.625t/ha, was recorded with Marketmore under regime of 60KgNha-1 + 5tha-1 of compost. On Iregun soil series, highest yield (9tha-1) and maximum gross returns of N1,031,230ha-1, gross margin of N763,120 and benefit to cost ratio of 3:8:1 were obtained with Market more under nutrient profile of 60kgN/ha. Research effort should be geared toward the improvement of the speed of nutrient release from organic fertilizer for the benefit of short gestation period crop such as cucumber.
Cucumber, Inorganic fertilizer, compost, oil series, yield, benefit/cost ratio