Influence of inorganic fertilizer and spacing on growth and yield of two maize cultivars under Striga hermonthica infestation
Field experiment was conducted during the 2013 rainy season at Lapai and Mokwa in the Southern Guinea savanna of Nigeria, to evaluate the reactions of maize cultivars to nitrogen and intra-row spacing in a Striga hermonthica infested field. The treatments consisted of two maize cultivar (Local (kabako) and SAMMAZ 16), four levels of nitrogen fertilizer (0, 60, 120 and 180 kg N ha-1) and three intra-row spacing (20, 25 and 30 cm). The treatments were factorial combined and laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design and replicated three times. Results revealed that plant height, number of leaves and days to 50 % anthesis of Local maize cultivars responded significantly with 60 kg N ha-1 at 9 WAS. 180 kg N ha-1 and 25cm intra-row spacing in combination with SAMMAZ 16 recorded the highest grain yield, 100 grain weight, stover yield, shelling percentage and harvest index. The local cultivars supported greater Striga infestation at 20 cm intra-row spacing and 180 kg N ha-1 was found remarkable for Striga suppression at 9 WAS in this study. From these findings, it could be concluded that the above combinations can be used for effective management of Striga hermonthica for optimum yield of maize.
Keywords: spacing, maize cultivar, nitrogen fertilizer, Striga hermonthica