Influence of weed control methods, poultry manure and planting pattern on growth and yield attributes of maize (Zea mays l.) in the northern Guinea Savannah zone of Nigeria
Field trials were conducted during the rainy seasons (2012 and 2013) at the Research Farm of Institute for Agricultural Research, Samaru Zaria and College of Agriculture and Animal Science, Mando Kaduna, in the Northern Guinea Savannah Zone of Nigeria, to determine the Influence of weed control methods, poultry manure and planting pattern on the performance of maize (Zea mays L.). The treatments consisted of six levels of weed control (S-metolachlor + atrazine at 1.98 and 2.64 kg a.i/ha, butachlor at 1.5 and 2.5 kg a.i/ha, hoe weeding at 3 and 6 weeks after sowing (WAS) and a weedy check), three levels of poultry manure (0, 4 and 8 t/ha) and two planting pattern (single and double row per ridge). The treatments were laid out in spit-plot design replicated three times. Weed control and poultry manure were assigned to the main plots, while planting pattern was assigned in the sub-plots. Results from the study showed that application of S-metolachlor + atrazine at 2.64 kg a.i/ha, butachlor at 2.5 kg a.i/ha and hoe weeding at 3 and 6 WAS produced taller maize plants, increase in relative growth rate and higher grain yield. However, application of poultry manure at 8t/ha gave the tallest maize plants, increase in relative growth rate and higher total grain yield, while double planting pattern (double row per ridge) suppressed weed population and ensured better crop performance and higher grain yield compared to the single planting pattern (single row per ridge).
Key words: weed control, planting pattern, poultry manure