The role of maize-legumes-cassava intercropping in the management of maize ear borers with special reference to Mussidia nigrivenella Ragonot (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) uri icon

abstract

  • The effects of intercropping maize with cowpea, lima bean, soybean, three leguminous cover crops (Tephrosia vogelii Hook F., Canavalia ensiformis L., Sesbania rostrata Bremek. & Oberm.) and cassava on the infestation of Mussidia nigrivenella Ragonot (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and other lepidopteran ear borers were studied. Field experiments were conducted in four locations in Benin using a 4x2 pattern of maize-legumes or maize-cassava planting. Intercropping reduced the number of eggs (by > 25%) and larvae (by 17.9-53%) of M. nigrivenella compared with the monocrop. Maize-C. ensiformis and maize-T vogelii proved to be the most effective combinations for reducing M. nigrivenella populations in the different locations. Grain loss and ear damage, which were significantly correlated with the number of insects in the ear, were significantly affected by the intercrops, with losses abated by 47-84% in the four sites. No parasitized larvae were found in any of the locations.

publication date

  • 2006
  • 2006
  • 2006