Incidence of Weed Flora Composition in Maize (Zea mays L.) Intercropped with Cover Crops under Three Weed Control Methods at Alabata, Southwest, Niger

Authors : Williams O.A, Lagoke S.T.O.

Volume/Issue : Volume 3 - 2018, Issue 12 - December

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Weeds, under many conditions are better competitors than the crop plants for light, water, soil nutrient and space. However, farming practices are capable of changing the condition in such a way as to enable the crop plants to compete with weeds successfully or to reduce interference to the minimum and thus preventing them from acting as impediments to increased production. The pattern of intercropping cover crops with maize and weed control methods were evaluated for their effects on weed flora incidence, cover score (level of infestation) and dry matter production. This study was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm, University of Agriculture, Alabata, Abeokuta (07o 20 N, 3o 23` E) in the forest ecological zone of Nigeria There were seven main treatments of six intercrops of maize viz: maize with groundnut (Arachis hypogea) planted within rows (Maize with Gnut intra), maize with groundnut planted between rows (Maize with Gnut inter), maize with groundnut planted within and between rows combined (Maize with Gnut intra+inter combined); maize with mucuna (Mucuna pruriens) planted within rows (Maize with Muc intra), maize with mucuna planted between rows (Maize with Muc inter) and maize with mucuna planted within and between rows combined (Maize with Muc inta+inter combined), plus sole maize. The sub-plot treatments consisted of three weed control methods viz: Commercial formulated mixture of metolachlor and prometryne (Codal 412) E.C. at 1.6 kg a.i/ha followed by supplementary hoe weeding at 6 WAP, Codal at 2.4 kg a.i/ha alone and two hoe-weedings at 3 and 6 WAP compared with the weedy check. All the treatments were laid out in a split plot arrangement fitted into randomized complete block design with three replications. Data were collected on weed cover score and weed dry matter production of broadleaves, sedges and grasses. The groundnut and mucuna components in the maize mixtures as well as the three weed control methods significantly reduced weed infestation and weed dry matter production compared to the sole maize crop and the weedy check. In this study, weed infestation and weed dry matter production in all the plots of maize intercrops with groundnut and mucuna under the three weed control methods including the weedy check were consistently lower than those in the sole maize plots. The intercropping of groundnut with maize reduced broadleaved weed dry matter production by 6 to 62 %, sedge by 4 to 80% and grass by 40 to 80%; Mucuna reduced broadleaved weed by10 to 65%, sedge by 52 to 89 and grass by 55 to 89% compared to the sole crop. Similarly, the three weed control methods reduced the broadleaved dry matter production by 32 to 73%, sedge by 61 to 90% and grass by 69 to 89% compared to the weedy check. The sequence of incidence and weed flora composition order was broadleaf > sedge > grass at the location.

Keywords : Maize, Groundnut, Mucuna, Intercrops, Weed Control.


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