Mitigating Striga hermonthica parasitism and damage in maize using soybean rotation, nitrogen application, and Striga-resistant varieties in the Nigerian savannas uri icon

abstract

  • Striga hermonthicainfestation causes significant losses of maize yield in the Nigerian savannas and several technologies have been developed and promoted to controlStrigain maize. However, since no single technology has been found to be effective againstStriga,integrated management is needed to achieve satisfactory and sustainableStrigacontrol. Both on-station and on-farm trials were undertaken from 2013 to 2015 in Bauchi and Kano States of Nigeria to evaluate the performance of integratedStrigacontrol technologies. In the on-station trials, a soybean-maize rotation did not suppressStrigain maize in either location. However, nitrogen application suppressed and reducedStrigainfection, except in Bauchi in 2014. The soybean-maize rotation accompanied by N application reducedStrigadamage in both locations. On farmers' fields, rotating soybean with maize significantly reducedStrigainfection. At the same time, the use of maize varieties with a combined tolerance to drought and resistance toStrigaparasitism also increased maize grain yield on farmers' fields, probably due to three factors: a reduction inStrigainfection, reduced effects of a mid-season moisture deficit, and increased uptake of nutrients from the soil. We concluded that the use ofStriga-resistant maize varieties in combination with the application of N fertilizer and rotation with soybean could increase the productivity of maize inStriga-infested fields in the Nigerian savannas.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020