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A field study was conducted at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in the derived savanna ecosystem to evaluate the influence of five weed management techniques and a weed-free control on the pre-flowering growth, susceptibility to wind damage, sucker production, and fruit yield of a plantain landrace (Musa spp. AAB cv. Agbagba). The weed management techniques included slashing at 8-weekly intervals, mulching alone, glyphosate + slashing, glyphosate + mulching, glyphosate alone and a weed-free control. Glyphosate + mulching proved to have the greatest positive influence on plant height, plant girth, leaf area and number of leaves throughout the duration of the experiment. Similarly, glyphosate + mulching treated plants produced bunch yield that was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than the other weed managements. Mulching and weed-free control produced the highest number of suckers. Generally, the plants that were mulched were the least susceptible to wind damage, for example, mulched plots had zero percent lodging in contrast to the weed-free (control plots) that lost more than 50% of the total plant population to wind damage. Results from this study suggested that glyphosate + mulching was the most effective weed management system in plantain plantation in the study area.
Keywords: Weed Management; Plantain; Growth; Wind damage; Yield
Global Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 7 (1) 2008: pp. 17-21