GREENER JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES

 

ISSN: 2276-7770                   ICV: 6.15

Submitted: 12/11/2015

Accepted: 21/11/2015

Published: 29/01/2016

 

Research Article (DOI http://doi.org/10.15580/GJAS.2016.1.111215158)

 

Effect of Herbicides Application on the Management of Tithonia in Maize (Zea mays)

 

Akinola B.A.1* and Salami A.E.

 

1Department of Crop Soil and Environmental Sciences, Ekiti State University Ado-Ekiti, P.O. Box 854, Akure, Nigeria

 

E-mail: boyeakinola@ yahoo. com, Phone: +2348036571118 

 

ABSTRACT

 

The influence of three types of herbicide mixtures (atrazine at 2 kg a.i./ha, paraquat at 2 litres (0.5 kg) ai/ha and their mixture) applied either at planting or 2 weeks after planting (WAP), were evaluated for Tithonia management. The experiments were conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria (April-September, 2009 and May-August 2010). Teaching and Research Farm, Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, Nigeria (May-August 2010) and Agricultural Machines and Machinery Training Centre, Akure, Nigeria (July-October, 2009).The experiments were laid down in a split plot design and replicated three times to give 18 experimental units. Data collected on growth parameters and yield of maize as well as Tithonia density and biomass were subjected to ANOVA and means separated by DMRT Atrazine and resulted in significantly higher yields of 2.54 relative to the mixture of atrazine and paraquat and paraquat which had 2.44 and 0.71 t/ha respectively. The highest gross margin (GM) of N149, 200.00 was obtained from the application of atrazine at 2 WAP. The highest Marginal Rate of Returns of 2.81 was obtained from the application of atrazine at 2 WAP. The relative abundance of Tithonia at 8-12 WAP was between 96.8 and 99.5% and this indicates that the plant could be a dominant weed in a farmland.

 

Key words: ANOVA, herbicide, maize, gross margin.

 

 

1.0 INTRODUCTION

 

Weed interference is a major maize production constraint in southwestern Nigeria. Most farmers in the tropical rain forest areas depend on rain for farming and weed aggressiveness is associated with rain-fed agriculture. It is an aggressive shrub which grows densely and forms large communities.  It eliminates plants (weeds and crops) by growing rapidly forming canopy cover over them; cutting off light to them and capable of causing considerable yield losses in cultivated crops. Tithoniadiversifolia (Mexican sun flower in the family Asteraceae) is an annual weed growing aggressively along road paths and on abandoned farmlands all over Nigeria (Ademiluyi et al., 2013). It had been observed to be widely spread in Nigeria where it is found growing on abandoned/waste lands, along major roads and waterways and on cultivated farmlands (Agbede and Afolabi, 2014). Tithoniadiversifolia intercropped with okra has an overall advantage and greater biomass which leads to reduced performance of okra and therefore should be controlled so as to ensure high yield of the crop (Chukwuka et al, 2014). It is an aggressive shrub which grows densely and forms large communities.  It eliminates plants (weeds and crops) by growing rapidly forming canopy cover over them; cutting off light to them and capable of causing considerable yield losses in cultivated crops. The aggressiveness of Tithoniadiversifolia offers it the ability to outcompete most arable crops in cultivated lands (Adesina et al., 2007).  Olabode et al. (1999) reported yield losses of 35, 51, 81 and 79% with delayed weeding of 4, 6, 8 WAP respectively in an uncontrolled T. diversifolia infested field in maize, the maximum period of weed tolerance by maize in T. diversifolia infested field was found to be within the first 2 weeks after planting (2WAP). There is need for more information on the appropriate integrated management options for Tithonia. Herbicides may be required in all tillage systems to achieve a cost-effective weed management method in Tithonia infested farmland. Sarabi et al. (2013) recommended the use of the mixture of two or more herbicides to control broad leaves. Agboola et al. (2006) studied seed germination, seedling growth and effect of herbicides on seeds and young seedlings of T. diversifolia using various herbicide concentrations as soaking solutions for its seeds. They reported that Gramoxone, Primextra and Galex at 0.5 to 2.0% and 0.3 to 2% concentration were effective in suppressing the germination and growth of seeds and Tithonia seedlings, respectively.

            The weed is gaining prominence as a serious weed in south-western Nigeria especially in old farms and roadsides. Most research works focused on the use of Tithonia for animal feed, soil improvement with very little on its management. This study was therefore, carried out to determine the effect of different herbicides and time of application in controlling Tithonia.

 

 

2. MATERIALS AND METHODS

 

Field experiments were conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, in April to September 2009, May and August 2010; Agricultural Machines and Machinery Training Centre, Akure in July to October 2009 and at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure in May to August 2010. All the sites are in the rainforest agro-ecological zone of southwestern Nigeria. The pre-cropping physical and chemical properties of the soils are contained in (Table 1). The texture of the soils was sandy loam with pH of 5.06-6.20, percentage organic matter of 0.55-3.50 and percentage Nitrogen of 0.03-0.15. The experiment was laid out in a Split-plot Design. Time of herbicide application: at planting (AP) and two weeks after planting (2 WAP) constituted the main plot. Herbicide treatments: atrazine (At), paraquat (Pa), atrazine + paraquat (At+Pa) constituted the sub-plot.  The 2 x 3 split plot was replicated three times to give 18 experimental units.  Each plot size was 9 m2 with 1 m space between plots. Maize SUWAN – I – SR variety was planted at a spacing of 75 x 50 cm (2 plants per hole) to give a planting density of 53,333 per hectare. Atrazine was sprayed at the rate of 2 kg a.i and paraquat was sprayed at 2 litres (0.5 a.i)/ha. NPK 15-15-15 fertilizer was applied at 200 kg/ha at 2 WAP. Nozzle shield was used when applying paraquat and the mixture of paraquat and atrazine at 2 WAP. Weed samples were collected with two 0.25 m2 quadrat randomly placed along a diagonal transect in each plot at 4, 8 and 12 WAP (Adeyemi et al., 2008).  Counts of Tithonia and other weed species found in the quadrat were taken. Weed species were identified with the aid of (Akobondu and Agyakwa, 1998).  Relative weed density (RD) was determined by dividing the mean density of weed species by the total density multiplied by 100 (Adeyemi et al., 2008).  RD = MWD/TWD x 100 where RD = Relative density, WD = Weed density and TW= Total weed density. Dry weight of Tithonia was determined on the oven-drying at 800C for 48 hours. Maize girth, height and number of leaves, ear dry weight was recorded from three randomly selected plants per sub-plot at 4, 6, 8 WAP. Ear dry weight was recorded per individual plot.  Grain yield was obtained per individual plot.

 

2.1 Data Analysis

 

Data generated from the experiment were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and their means were separated using the Duncan’s Multiple Range Test (DMRT) at 5% level of probability. Cost and return analysis were carried out by using gross margin (GM). The GM calculation is based on the total of all variable costs involved (Table 2) in the production and all revenue realized from a given production. Returns on investment were determined by the use of Marginal Rate of Returns (MRR). MRR is an important determinant of profitability of any given enterprise. GM was calculated using GM= GR-TVC where GR = Gross returns, TVC = Total Variable Cost. MRR was calculated using the formula: MRR= GM/TVC where     MRR, GM and TVC are as defined above.

 

 

 

 

Soil samples were collected and analysed in April and August (Experiment conducted in 2009) and in May for experiments conducted in 2010.

 

 

 

Cost analysis average for all the experiment i.e. sites and year.

 

 

3. RESULTS

 

3.1 Weed composition at experimental sites

 

Although the experiments were conducted on sites heavily infested with Tithonia, some other weed species were also present. At the Teaching and Research Farm of Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, other weed species found included Talinumtriangulare, Digitariahorinzontalis, Cyperusesculentus, Chromolaenaodorata and Sidaacutain 2009, as well as Chromolaenaodorata, Mucunautilis, Aspiliaafricana and Panicum maximum in 2010. At the Akure experimental sites, the other weed species present were Chromolaenaodorata, Mucunautilis, Aspilia Africana and Panicum maximum in 2009, as well as Panicum maximum, Euphorbia heterophylla, Urenalobata, Commelinaerectasubsperecta, Asystasiagangetica, Cyperusesculentus, Chromolaenaodorataand Sidaacutain 2010.

 

3.2 Tithonia growth and biomass

 

Application of atrazine alone and in mixture with paraquat resulted in significantly lower Tithonia density compared with paraquat alone. There was no significant difference between atrazine and the combination of atrazine and paraquat. (Table7). Application of herbicides at 2 WAP had a significantly lower Tithonia density than the application of herbicides at planting. The interactions of herbicide and time of herbicide application was significant. In the herbicide and time of herbicide application interactions, atrazine treatments at 2 WAP had a significantly lower Tithonia density in relation to paraquat treatments at planting, but were not significantly different from atrazine treatments at planting and the combination of atrazine and paraquat treatments both at planting and 2 WAP (Table8).

Application of atrazine alone resulted in significantly shorter Tithonia plants than the mixture with paraquat and paraquat alone. Reduction in Tithonia plant height by atrazine compared to paraquat alone and the paraquat-atrazine mixture was by 48.5% and 19.5%, respectively. Application of herbicides at 2 WAP significantly reduced Tithonia height compared application at planting at 12 WAP in 2010 at Akure (Table 9). In the interactions between herbicide and time of herbicide application, atrazine treatments at 2 WAP had a significantly lower Tithonia height and thus reduced Tithonia height by 56.3% relative to paraquat application at planting

Application of atrazine alone resulted in significantly lower Tithonia biomass than paraquat alone at all stages in both years and at both locations and in the combined analysis. The reduction in Tithonia dry weight was 62.4% compared to paraquat alone at 12 WAP in the combined analysis. Furthermore, application of atrazine alone reduced Tithonia dry weight significantly compared to the mixture with paraquat at 8 and 12 WAP in both years at Ado Ekiti and at 12 WAP in 2010 at Akure. Application of herbicides 2 WAP resulted in significantly lower Tithonia dry weight compared to application at planting at 8 and 12 WAP in 2010 and 2009 respectively at Ado Ekiti, 12 WAP in 2009 and all stages in 2010 at Akure and at 12 WAP in the combined analysis (Table 10). In the interactions between herbicide and time of herbicideapplication, atrazine treatments at 2 WAP had a significantly lower Tithonia biomass and reduced Tithonia biomass by 71.6% relative to paraquat application at planting. 

 

3.4 Maize growth

 

Application of atrazine alone and in combination with paraquat resulted in significantly taller maize plants than paraquat alone at 6 and 8 WAP in 2010 at both locations and 2009 at Akure as well as in combined analysis. Application of herbicide at 2 WAP resulted in significantly taller maize plants than at planting in 2010 at Ado-Ekiti. The mixture of atrazine and paraquat treatments at planting produced significantly taller maize than all paraquat treatments, but was not significantly different from atrazine treatments at planting, at 2WAP and the mixture of atrazine and paraquat treatments at 2 WAP. Paraquat treatments at planting reduced maize height by 19.4% when compared to both atrazine treatments and the combination of atrazine and paraquat treatments at planting (Table 11). The mixture of atrazine and paraquat treatments at planting produced significantly taller maize than all paraquat treatments, but was not significantly different from atrazine treatments at planting at 2WAP and the mixture of atrazine and paraquat treatments at 2 WAP. Paraquat treatments at planting reduced maize height by 19.4% when compared to both atrazine treatments and the combination of atrazine and paraquat treatments at planting.

Application of atrazine alone and in mixture with paraquat resulted in significantly higher number of leaves per maize stand than paraquat alone at 6 and 8 WAP at Ado-Ekiti in 2010, at all stages and in both years at Akure and in the combined analysis. Maize in plots with paraquat alone showed reduced number of leaves per stand by 11.4% compared to atrazine alone. The application of herbicides at 2 WAP resulted in significantly higher number of leaves per maize stand than at planting at 6 WAP in 2010 at Akure. Atrazine application at 2 WAP had a significantly higher number of leaves per stand than all paraquat treatments, but was not significantly different from atrazine treatments at planting, the mixture of atrazine and paraquat treatments at planting and at 2 WAP (Table 12).

Application of atrazine alone and in mixture with paraquat resulted in significantly bigger maize girth than paraquat alone at 8 WAP in 2009 at Akure, at 4, 6 and 8 WAP in 2010 at both locations and in the combined analysis.  Paraquat treatments reduced number of stem girth by 11.0% when compared to atrazine treatments at 8 WAP in the combined analysis. There was no significant difference between the application of herbicides at 2 WAP and at planting (Table 13). Atrazine application at planting gave a significantly higher stem girth than the application of paraquat at 2 WAP. Atrazine application at planting gave a significantly higher stem girth than the application of paraquat at 2 WAP.

 

3.5 Ear dry weight and maize grain yield

 

The application of atrazine alone and in mixture with paraquat resulted in similar ear weights that were significantly higher than paraquat alone at both locations and years and in the combined analysis. Paraquat alone caused 55.1% reduction in ear dry weight compared to the mixture of atrazine and paraquat. The application of herbicides at 2 WAP resulted in significantly higher ear weight than at planting at Akure in 2010 and in the combined analysis (Table 3).  In the interaction between herbicide and time of herbicide application, atrazine treatments at planting gave significantly higher ear weight than paraquat treatment at planting and at 2 WAP, but was not significantly different from atrazine treatment at 2 WAP and the combination of atrazine and paraquat treatment  at planting and at 2 WAP.

Application of atrazine alone and in mixture with paraquat gave significantly higher maize grain yield than paraquat alone at both locations in both years. Application of paraquat alone reduced maize grain yield by 72.0% compared to atrazine treatments.   Time of herbicide application did not have significant effect on maize grain yield (Table 4). The interactions between herbicide and time of herbicide application were significant. The herbicide and time of herbicide application interactions showed that atrazine at planting had significantly higher maize grain yield than all paraquat treatments but was not significantly different from atrazine treatments at 2 WAP and the combination of atrazine and paraquat treatment at planting and at 2 WAP. Paraquat application at 2 WAP reduced maize grain yield by 83.0% when compared to the application of atrazine at planting (Table 5).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.6 Analysis of costs and returns

 

The highest gross margin (GM) of N149, 200.00 was obtained from the application of atrazine at 2 WAP. The highest Marginal Rate of Returns of 2.81was obtained from the application of atrazine at 2 WAP (Table 6).

 

3.7 Relative weed abundance

 

Tithoniadiversifolia relative abundance was between 92.9 and 97.8% at the four experimental sites. Other associated weed species found to be relatively abundant were Cyperusesculentus, Euphorbia heterophylla, Urenalobata, Chamaecristamimosoides, Sienna hirsuta (Tables 14-17).

 

 

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

 

The effectiveness of atrazine on broad leaves probably accounted for the significant reduction of Tithonia density than paraquat. Ilhan et al. (2010) reported that application of atrazine effectively controlled weeds in millet and maize.  Application of herbicides at 2 WAP significantly reduced Tithonia density than the application at planting probably because residual effect of atrazine and other pesticides normally reduce with time. Tithonia plants were shorter in atrazine-treated plots because of its effectiveness on Tithonia seeds and seedlings. Kopsell (2012) reported that atrazine was effective in controlling weeds and also increased crop yields in sweet corn. The application of herbicides at 2 WAP resulted in shorter Tithonia plants because it was able to kill weed seeds and seedlings. The significant reduction in weed biomass by atrazine application at 2 WAP over atrazine + paraquat and paraquat alone could be attributed to the effectiveness of atrazine on both seeds and seedlings of Tithonia.

 

 

 

 

The nozzle shield used to spray atrazine + paraquat at 2 WAP spared Tithonia stands that were close to maize and so accounted for not too pronounced reduction in weed biomass by atrazine+paraquat application.

Application of herbicides at 2 WAP resulted in significantly taller maize plants than at planting probably because of the effect on growing weeds. The yield of 1.91 mt/ha obtained from the application of herbicide at planting was not significantly different from 1.88mt/ha obtained from the application of herbicides at 2 WAP. The effect on seeds, hence seedling growth and delay in emergence made pre-emergence herbicide still effective at 2 WAP. The least maize growth performance and yield recorded in plots sprayed with paraquat at planting could be attributed to its mode of action. Paraquat is a contact herbicide and effective only in the removal of any given vegetative cover.

            The cost of using atrazine at 2 kg a.i/ha was found to be the least when compared with paraquat and its mixture with atrazine. The highest Gross Margin and Marginal Rate of Returns by atrazine when compared with other herbicide mixtures could be due to the fact that Atrazine has the double advantage of being affordable, effective on weed seeds and emerged broadleaf seedlings. It is also a selective herbicide for maize cultivation. 

The relative abundance obtained for Tithonia without artificial infestation of the experimental sites confirms the colonizing and dominating characteristics of the plant. Liasu and Ogunkunle (2007) had noted that Tithonia is able dominate a new environment because of its high prolificity, adaptability, ability to survive many adverse conditions, aggressiveness, persistence as well as seed longevity and dispersability in time (dormancy) and space (transport).

The application of atrazine at 2WAP would be the most cost-effective weed control measure in a Tithonia dominated field and the average relative abundance of Tithonia during the life cycle of a crop of maize shows that the plant is a dominant weed in farmlands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Ademiluyi BO, Ajewole TO (2013). Study on the Effects of Fresh Shoot Biomass on Tithonia diversifolia on Germination, Growth and Yield of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). American Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 3(4):1005-1011.

Adesina GO,  Olabode OS, Ogunyemi S. (2007). Effect of Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia (Helms) A. Gray) Interference in the Performance of Melon (Citruluslanatus Thumb. Mansfd). Agric. J.,  2: 23-26.

Adeyemi, OR, Smith MAK and Ojeniyi SO (2008). Effect of Land Preparation Techniques on Weed Control Effectiveness in Okra (Abelmoscus esculentus L.) Moench. Nigerian Journal of Weed Science, 21: 72-83.

Agbede TM,  Afolabi LA. (2014). Soil Fertility Improvement Potentials of Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) and Siam Weed (Chromolaena odorata) using Okra as Test Crop. Archives of Applied Science Research, 6(2): 42 – 47.

Agboola DA, Idowu WF and Kadiri M (2006). Seed Germination and Seedling Growth of the Mexican Sunflower, Tithonia diversifolia (Compositae) in Nigeria. Africa Revista de Biologia Tropical, JunioUniversity de Costa Rica, 54: 395-402.

Akobundu IO and Agyakwa CW (1998). A Handbook of West African Weeds International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), African Book Publishers. Ibadan, Nigeria1-527.

Chukwuka KS, Uka UN, Omotayo OE (2014). Interaction of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus(L.) Moench) and (Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl) A. Gray) in an Agroecosystem. Journal of Agronomy, 13: 187-192.

Chukwuka, K.S., Ogunyemi S. and Fawole I. 2007.Ecological distribution of Tithoniadiversifolia (Hemsl). A. Gray-a new exotic weed in Nigeria. Journal of Biological Sciences, 7: 709-719.

Ilhan K, Seyda ZC, Reyyan Y and Ibrahim HY (2010). Effect of Atrazine Applications on Weed Growth and Yield at Different Irrigation Levels in Corn (Zea mays) Growth. African Journal of Biotechnology, 9(40):6695-6700.

Kopsell D (2012). Effect of Atrazine on Sweet Corn. Syngenta Media Centre online.

Liasu MO and Ogunkunle ATJ (2007).  Secondary Thickening Pattern of the Stem in Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl) A. Gray. Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences, 1(1): 21-25.

Olabode OS, Adetunji IA and Ogunyemi S (1999). Effects of Interference of Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl) A. Gray on Performance of Maize in Southwestern Nigeria. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture and Environment, 1(2): 279-283.

Sarabi V, Ghanbari A, RashedMohassel MH, NassiriMahallati M, Rastgoo M (2014).  Evaluation of Broadleaf Weeds Control with Some Post-emergence Herbicides in Maize (Zea mays L.) in Iran International Journal of Plant Production, 8(1):173-184.

 

 

Cite this article: Akinola B.A. and Salami A.E. (2015). Effect of Herbicides Application on the Management of Tithonia in Maize (Zea mays). Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 6(1): 028-040, http://doi.org/10.15580/GJAS.2016.1.111215158.