Effects of Weed Control and Cow Dung Manure on Growth Performance of Quality Protein Maize in Samaru, Zaria, Nigeria
Field trials were conducted during the 2006, 2007 and 2008 rainy seasons at the Institute for Agricultural Research Samaru, in the Northern guinea savanna zone of Nigeria to evaluate the effects of weed control and cow dung manure treatments on growth of Quality Protein Maize. The trial consisted of factorial combinations of eight weed control treatments which include application of (Atrazine + Acetochlor + Terbuthylazine at a ratio of 1:1:1, Atrazine + Metolachlor at a ratio of 1:2 each at 3.0 and 4.0kg a.i/ha, Atrazine at 4.0 and 5.0kg a.i/ha, Hoe weeding at 3 and 6 weeks after sowing and a weedy check) with four cow dung manure levels at (0, 4, 8 and 12t/ha and a recommended NPK mineral fertilizer check at the rate of 120kg N, 26kg P and 50kg K/ha). The treatments were laid out in a split plot design with three replicates. In the mean data, application of Atrazine + Metolachlor at 4.0kg a.i/ha and the two hoe weedings produced significantly (P < 0.05) higher and similar values for total dry matter and crop growth rate, whereas Atrazine + Metolachlor at 4.0kg a.i/ha only
produced significantly (P<0.05) the higher values for leaf area index and harvest index. Application of Atrazine + Acetochlor + Terbuthylazine at 4.0kg a.i/ha had statistically (P<0.05) the higher lodging count. The highest Relative growth rate was by Atrazine + Metolachlor at 3.0kg a.i/ha (P<0.05). The weedy check consistently produced the least values for all parameters. Application of cow dung manure at 12t/ha and the NPK mineral fertilizer check produced significantly the highest values for all parameters (P<0.05) while 0 fertilizer control had the least. Based on the result of this study it can be deduced that the application of Atrazine + Metolachlor at 4.0 kg a.i/ha and cow dung manure at 12t/ha increased growth of Quality Protein Maize.
Keywords - Weed control, Cow dung manure, Growth indices, Quality protein maize