Grain yield, stem borer and disease resistance of new maize hybrids in Kenya
Evaluation of 30 maize hybrids for yield and resistance to stem borers and foliar diseases in four agroecologies in Kenya was conducted in 2009. There were significant differences among the hybrids in leaf damage, number of exit holes, tunnel length and grain yield in Kiboko. The maize hybrids CKPH08014, CKPH08025, and CKPH08026 showed the least leaf damage, exit holes and tunnel length, similar to the resistant check. Although ten hybrids yielded over 8 t/ha, two hybrids, CKPH09001 and CKPH08033, gave the highest yield of 8.99 and 8.86 t/ha, respectively, in Kiboko. There were significant differences among the hybrids in resistance to leaf rust and maize streak virus in Kakamega. The intensity of foliar diseases was high in Kakamega compared to the other sites. All hybrids appeared resistant to the foliar diseases at Kakamega. On the average, the highest yield of the hybrids was recorded in Kiboko (7.5 t/ha) followed by Kakamega (6.1 t/ha), and the least at Embu (3.5 t/ha), and Mtwapa (3.14 t/ha). The performance of the hybrids varied from site to site, with CKPH09002 and CKPH09003 performing well at Mtwapa, CKPH09001 at Kiboko, CKPH08039 at Embu, CKPH 08002 and CKPH08010 at Kakamega.
Key words: Host plant resistance, maize, pest management, stem borer, foliar disease.