Effect of imazapyr treated maize on Striga infestation and time of intercropping cowpea in Samaru, Nigeria
Two field experiments were conducted at the research farm of Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) Samaru, Zaria during the 2011 cropping season, with the aim of determining the effect of imazapyr treated maize on Striga infestation and time of intercropping cowpea in Samaru, northern guinea savannah of Nigeria. There were two sets of experiments: the first experiment consisted of Six (6) hybrids (AS1128-1, AS1128-2, AS1128-3, AS1128-4, AS1128-6 and AS1128-8) of imazapyr resistant (IR) maize seeds treated with imazapyr chemical and intercropped with cowpea at 2, 4 and 6 weeks after sowing (WAS) of maize. The second experiment consisted of the same Six (6) hybrids of IR maize seeds but untreated and also intercropped with cowpea at 2, 4 and 6 WAS of maize. The experiments were laid out in a split plot design with time of intercropping cowpea as main plot and hybrid maize varieties as sub plot, and replicated three times. The cowpea variety used for the trial was IT97K-499-35. Among the treated IR-maize hybrids, only AS1128-1, AS1128-2, AS1128-3 and AS1128-4 germinated while for the untreated, all the six hybrids germinated. The grain yields per hectare of all the treated maize hybrids did not significantly differed whereas grain yields per hectare of the untreated maize hybrids AS1128-1, AS1128-2, AS1128-3 and AS1128-4 were significantly higher than the hybrid AS1128-8. The treated IR maize hybrids exerted 100% control of Striga while the untreated supported Striga emergence. There was no visible damage symptoms observed on the cowpea intercropped with treated maize at all times of intercropping. It is therefore concluded that the IR-maize hybrids ASII28-1, ASII28-2, ASII28-3 and ASII28-4 should be used in the treated forms for the control of Striga. Moreover, the intercropping of cowpea with imazapyr treated maize can be carried out starting from 2 WAS of maize.
Key words: Intercropping, imazapyr resistant maize (IR-maize), cowpea, Striga.