Global Advanced Research Journal of Agricultural Science (GARJAS) ISSN: 2315-5094
August 2019 Vol. 8(7): pp. 229-237
Copyright © 2019 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Witchweed (Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth) Control using Imazapyr Seed Coating in Maize Hybrids in the Nigerian Savannah

David Chikoye1*, Ayeoffe Fontem Lum2 and Abebe Menkir3


1 International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Southern Africa Research and Administrative Hub, Farm 1458B, Chongwe, P.O. Box 310142, Chelstone, Lusaka, Zambia

2 University of Buea, South West Region, Cameroon

3 IITA Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

*Corresponding Author's Email:


Accepted 15 March, 2019



Witchweed (Striga hermonthica) is a major parasitic weed of most cereal crops in Africa including maize. Seed treatment with low doses of acetolactate synthase-inhibiting herbicides, such as imazapyr, was introduced in the 1990s as an approach to control witchweed. Field trials were conducted in four locations in Nigeria in the Guinea and Sudan savannahs in 2007 and 2008 to assess the effect of coating seeds of several maize hybrids with imazapyr on witchweed control. The maize hybrids had genes for imidazolinone herbicide resistance (IR) as well as genetic tolerance to witchweed (ST). Treatments were 12 IR maize hybrids with tolerance to witchweed and three checks without the IR gene (a commercial hybrid, a witchweed tolerant hybrid, and a witchweed susceptible hybrid). Averaged across all locations, the coated IR hybrids with ST yielded more and supported fewer witchweed plants than the uncoated IR hybrids with ST. The IR hybrids with ST yielded 54% more than the commercial hybrid and the witchweed tolerant hybrid checks that were not coated with imazapyr. The witchweed susceptible hybrid check suffered a yield loss of 91% under witchweed infestation without imazapyr seed coating. The IR hybrids with ST yielded 3622 kg ha–1 of grain when coated with imazapyr and 3258 kg ha–1 without imazapyr. The findings indicate that coating of IR/ST maize seeds with imazapyr improved tolerance to witchweed.

Keywords: Maize, Imazapyr, IR hybrids, Seed coating, Striga hermonthica, Witchweed.

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