Agron. Sustain. Dev.
Volume 27, Number 2, April-June 2007
Page(s) 89 - 94
Published online 23 March 2007
Agron. Sustain. Dev. 27 (2007) 89-94
DOI: 10.1051/agro:2006028

Trees to control weeds in pearl millet

Nuhu A. Gworgwor

Department of Crop Production, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Maiduguri, Borno state, Nigeria

(Accepted 28 September 2006; published online 23 March 2007)

Abstract - This study shows that growing trees represents a sustainable and efficient alternative to control weeds in millet. A survey was conducted on farmers' fields in September 1998 at the end of the rainy season in Maiduguri in the semi-arid zone of Nigeria to assess the potential of the Faidherbia albida tree for the control of the Striga hermonthica weed in millet. A random survey was carried out in four locations on the farmers' fields. The results show that F. albida trees could completely control S. hermonthica weeds occuring in millet under the tree canopy. Indeed, no single Striga emergence was observed under all trees surveyed, while the adjacent crops outside the tree canopies were seriously infested with S. hermonthica, causing reduction in plant growth of 76.5%, panicle length of 23.8% and millet panicle yield of 171.3%. Furthermore, plant performance under the tree canopies was very high, as plant height was increased by 80.0%, stem diameter by up to 15.9%, panicle length by 34.4% and panicle yield by 298.6% as compared with the Striga-infested plants outside the tree canopy. Plants within the 6-15 m area away from the tree trunk performed better than the 0-5 m area. The implication of these results in relation to Striga control in the semi-arid region of West Africa is discussed.

Key words: Faidherbia albida / Striga hermonthica / control / millet / semi-arid / Nigeria

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2007