Aeschynomene histrix (Joint Vetch) fallow and nitrogen fertilizer effects on Striga hermonthica infestation and maize (Zea mays) productivity in southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria

  • I Usman
  • E Daniya
  • M.G.M. Kolo
Keywords: Striga, Aeschynomene histrix, fallow rotation, nitrogen, maize


Integration of herbaceous legume Aeschynomene histrixinto the farmers’ cropping system is one viable option that can improve the nutrition of maize (Zea mays), increase soil physical, chemical and biological properties which can result in sustainable Striga control and crop productivity. This study was conducted to determine the effects of A. histrix fallow and N fertilizer application on Strigainfestation, growth and yield of maize. The study involved the factorial combination of fallow type: natural fallow (NF) and A. histrix fallow (AF), and inorganic N fertilizer application: 0, 30, 60 and 90 kg N ha-1 arranged in a split plot in a randomised complete block design and replicated three times. Results show that cropping/maize after A. histrix fallow significantly (P < 0.05) delayed Strigaemergence, reduced its virulence on the host crop, increased maize plant height, and grain yield compared to natural fallow. Application of 90 kg N ha-1 delayed days to Striga shoot emergence, reduced Striga damage on host crop, and increased plant height of maize. Heavier and higher grain yield of maize were significantly associated with of 60 kg N ha-1. Integrating A. histrix fallow rotations with application of 60 kg N ha-1 can provide sustainable Strigacontrol, and A. histrix in combination with 90 kg N ha-1 modest yield of maize. This study has shown that farmers in the southern Guinea savanna location of Nigeria can effectively control Striga and obtain better maize yield by integrating A. histrix fallow with the application of N fertilizer.

Keywords:  Striga, Aeschynomene histrix, fallow rotation, nitrogen, maize


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eISSN: 1119-7455