Article Number: PRJA14311971


Vol. 3 Issue 1, pp: (1-11), January 2018.
Article Number: PRJA14311971
Copyright ©2018
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Full Length Research Paper

Integrating Weed Control Methods to Increase Maize (Zea mays L.) Productivity in the Savannah Woodland Agro-Climatic Zone of Sierra Leone.

Dan David Quee1, Keiwoma Mark Yila2, Jeneh Fatima Bebeley3, and Janatu Veronica Sesay4

1Weed Scientist, 2Agronomist, 3Agronomist and 4Plant Botanist

Njala Agricultural Research Centre (NARC)

Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI), Freetown Sierra Leone.

Corresponding author: Dan David Quee, E-mail: dandavidquee@yahoo.com

 Received: October 12, 2017  Accepted: November 27, 2017  Published: January 25, 2018

ABSTRACT

Field experiments were conducted during main and second cropping season in 2016 at Njala Agricultural Research Centre experimental field, to investigate the effect of different integrated weed control methods on total weed biomass (g m-2), grain yield (t ha-1), and weed control efficiency in the Savannah Woodland Agro-Climatic Zone of Sierra Leone.The experimental design was a 2 x 6 factorial arranged in a randomised complete block design. The treatments were 2 levels of maize varieties (DMR-ESR-Yellow and Obatanpa) and 6 levels of weed control methods (T0: No weeding, T1: Mucunapruriens planted at 40cm x 40cm plus 1 hand weeding at 4 weeks after planting (WAP), T2: Mucunapruriens planted at 80cm x 40cm plus 1 hand weeding at 4 WAP, T3: 2 hoe-weeding at 4 and 8 WAP, T4: Powerforce (Pre or post-emergence herbicide) at 4 L ha-1 plus 1 hoe weeding at 8 WAP and T5: Powerforce at 6 L ha-1 plus 1 hoe weeding at 8 WAP). Data was collected on total weed biomass (g m-2), grain yield (t ha-1), and weed control efficiency. The value of the grain yield and variable costs associated with the weed control methods were calculated to determine the gross margin for each weed control method. The weed control treatments had significant effect on the total weed biomass, grain yield and weed control efficiency. Weeds can significantly decrease grain yield in maize which may result to economic loss. The use of Mucunapruriens at 40cm x 40cm or 80cm x 40cm is effective in controlling weeds in maize, but inefficient in increasing maize productivity. The use of 2 hoe weeding at 4 and 8 WAP and application of Powerforce at 4 or 6 L ha-1 plus 1 hand weeding at 8 WAP increased maize productivity. The best option for increasing maize productivity in savannah woodland agro climatic zone was integrating Powerforce at 6 L ha-1 plus 1 hand weeding at 8 WAP.

Key words: Integrating Weed Control, Maize Productivity, Powerforce, Gross Margin