Open Access Original Research Article

Mycoflora Compositions of Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) Grains from Eastern Region of Kenya

Kange Alex Machio

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2016/26316

Sorghum is an important cereal crop produced as staple food in Eastern region of Kenya prone to fungal infection. Mycological examination on farm surveyed 150 sorghum grains samples (each weighing 250 g) of improved variety (Gadam-greyish grains) and a landrace (reddish grains) from farmers at Machakos, Makueni, Kibwezi East and West which are semi arid low lands. Mycoflora culturing on grains was by direct plating method on potato dextrose agar (PDA) for Aspergillus and Penicillium spp. while malachite green agar 2.5 (MGA 2.5) for Fusarium spp. Sorghum grains were infected with mycoflora composition of Aspergillus, Fusarium and Penicillium genera. Aspergillus and Fusarium species had a high percentage frequency and relative frequency of fungi isolates from improved varieties and a few in landraces. Penicillium species had a lowest percentage and relative frequencies isolates on both the improved and landraces sorghum varieties. Significant difference was observed between the frequency of fungi isolates from the improved and landraces of sorghum grains. These results indicate possible health hazards for humans and animals consumption of such infected food grain with a composition of mycoflora.

Open Access Original Research Article

In vitro Evaluation of Botanical Extracts against Some Soil and Seed Borne Fungi of Economic Importance

Suraiya Yasmin

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2016/26222

Introduction: The investigation was done to observe the effectiveness of botanical extracts against Bipolaris sorokiniana, Fusarium oxysporum and Sclerotium rolfsii. Biologically based and environmentally safe alternatives are needed for the management of pathogenic micro-organisms. Plant extracts might be a substantial alternative of chemical pesticides. 

Aims: To investigate the effectiveness of three botanical extracts namely garlic, ginger and neem at different concentrations (5%, 10% and 15%) on the mycelial growth of Bipolaris sorokiniana, Fusarium oxysporum and Sclerotium rolfsii.

Study Design: In vitro testing.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was taken in the Plant Protection Laboratory of Agrotechnology Discipline, Khulna University from June 2011 to June 2012.

Methodology: Poison food technique was followed to measure the effect of botanical extracts. The inhibition percentages of the tested fungi were calculated based on the growth of the pathogen on PDA plates in absence of crude extracts by following the formula of Sunder et al. (1995). The plates were arranged in Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with five replications. The replicated plates were used for each treatment under each experiment and completely randomized design was followed for data analysis.

Results: The different botanical extracts in different concentrations inhibited the mycelial growth of fungi significantly (p<0.01). At 15% concentration garlic maximum inhibited S. rolfsii 72.20%, neem and ginger maximum inhibited in F. oxysporum 56.41% and 55.80% respectively.

Conclusion: The mycelial growth inhibition of soil and seed borne fungi was found to be increased with the increase of concentration of botanical extracts.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Mulching on Microclimatic Manipulation, Weed Suppression, and Growth and Yield of Pea (Pisum sativum L.)

M. A. Awal, Prabir Chandra Dhar, M. Satu Sultan

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2016/25936

Aim: An experiment was conducted in the Bangladesh Agricultural University to study the effect of various mulches on microclimatic manipulation, weed suppression, and growth and yield of pea (Pisum sativum L.).

Study Design: Treatments were comprised of transparent polyethylene, black polyethylene and rice straw mulches and a no mulch treatment (control). Treatments were laid-out following a randomized complete block design with three replicates.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in the Field Laboratory of the Department of Crop Botany, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, during the cropping season extended from November 2009 to February 2010.

Methodology: Measurements included soil and air temperatures, soil water, weed and crop dry weights, plant height, primary branch number per plant, yield components, and grain yield.

Results: The transparent and black polyethylene covers increased soil temperature whereas rice straw decreased it as compared to that at no mulched soil. However, all mulch covers retained significantly higher amount of soil water in the order of black polyethylene>transparent polyethylene>rice straw>no mulch. Weed growth was suppressed by black polyethylene mulch whereas it was promoted under transparent film followed by the no mulched soil. Plant height, number of primary branches per plant, leaf area index, dry matter accumulation, seed yield and yield contributing attributes like number of pod per plant and seed per pod, seed weight per plant and individual seed weight were influenced by different mulches. High yield attributes occurred from the crops grown with black or transparent polyethylene mulches whereas lowest yields occurred from the crops grown with rice straw mulch or control. The highest seed yield was obtained from the crops grown with black (5.66 t/ha) or transparent polyethylene covers (5.54 t/ha), and the lowest occurred with rice straw (4.38 t/ha) or with no mulch (4.26 t/ha).

Conclusion: Black or transparent polyethylene sheet can be used as an effective mulching material for the better yield of pea crop under the existing agro-climatic conditions of Bangladesh.

Open Access Original Research Article

Biocidal Properties of Chrysopogon zizanioides Extracts in the Control of Termites (Microcerotermes beesoni)

O. F. Olotuah, C. O. Aboluwoye, A. S. Adeyemo, T. J. Onisile

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2016/26185

Laboratory experiments were conducted on the insecticidal properties of n-Hexane and ethanolic extracts of the leaves and roots of Chrysopogon zizanioides in the control of a caste of Microcerotermes beesoni, termites. Dried and fresh parts of the plant were used for the experiment. The mature fresh leaves and roots used were chopped into matchstick sizes, pulverized and excavated differently in n-hexane and ethanol while studies on the dried parts involved sun-drying before extraction in the solvents. Similarly, different castes of termites obtained from a termitarium were cultured in a jar in the laboratory. The extracts from C. zizanioides were applied differently on the castes of M. beesoni and efficacy was determined through insect mortality rate. Observation showed that all the extracts were highly effective with the highest vigour experiential in the dried root n-hexane extract within 5 seconds.

Open Access Original Research Article

Identification of Efficient Cropping Zones for Cassava Production in Nigeria

Idorenyin A. Otung, Aniekan J. Akpaeti

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2016/26821

Aim: When the productivity of a crop is higher and stable in an area/zone probably due to prevalence of optimum condition for crop growth and yield, it is considered an efficient crop zone. But identification of these cropping efficient zones which also serves to encourage comparative advantage and specialization in crop production may be a challenge to investors desiring to invest in these zones. Therefore this paper sought to investigate the efficient cropping zone for cassava, with a view to providing a practicable guide for policy considerations in production, processing (Such as the staple crop processing zones - SCPZ) and value chain development.

Methodology: To achieve this feat, secondary data collected from Nigerian bureau of statistics (NBS) data portal and the food and agriculture organization (FAO) from 1997-2006 were used to categorize the country into six geo-political zones by using stratified sampling method. Five criteria were adopted based on relative yield index (RYI) and relative spread index (RSI) to determine efficiency of cropping zone by computing the mean yield of a state in relation to country crop yield and state crop area in relation to total crop area in the country.

Results: The results showed that ten (10) states (Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kogi, Oyo, Rivers and Taraba) out of thirty one (31) states spread across the six-political zones were identified as the most efficient cropping zones (MECZ) for cassava production. Their RYI values were 115.72, 366.38, 229.88, 234.30, 229.13, 188.60, 271.28, 133.49, 153.77, 171.11 respectively while their RSI values were 153.19, 318.05, 217.32, 238.96, 186.63, 228.27, 206.93, 165.57, 165.52, 174.72 respectively. the south-south geo-political zone had the highest number of states -three (3); south-east was next with two (2) states. Other zones had one each.

Conclusion: The policy implication is that investors can be potentially guided to invest in cassava production and development of value chain from the product. Also uneconomical crops can be replaced with the most economic crops for better returns on investment as well as productivity.

Open Access Original Research Article

Uses and Relative Abundance of Non-Timber Forest Plants in Farmlands of Selected Tiv Communities in Benue State, Nigeria

Shomkegh Simon Alyegba, Mbakwe Roy, Udeagha Agbaeze Umazi

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2016/26117

Majority of the rural farmers in Nigeria supplement their livelihoods with goods and services within and around their farmlands. Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) are harvested for their subsistence and commercial use and forms an inherent part of rural economy which helps them to meet both food and non-foods needs especially during periods of crop failure and famine. The present study was undertaken to identify and examine the uses and relative abundance of non-timber tree species in farmlands of selected Tiv communities of Benue State, Nigeria. Sample plots of 100 m x 100 m in selected farmlands were surveyed in each of the three randomly selected kindreds within each of the three Local Government Areas (LGAs) purposively selected for the study. In each farmland, five 10 m x 100 m grids were marked at 20 m intervals and every NTFP plant species encountered in each of the grids was identified by its local name, counted and recorded. Group interviews with farmers in the selected kindreds gave community-level knowledge on uses of the tree species within their farmlands.  In Guma LGA, 21 tree species pertaining to 13 families were found predominated with Rubiaceae (38.5%) and followed by Mimosoideae (23.1%). Acacia nilotica and Borassus aethiopum were the most preferred species (14.1%) on the farms. Ten plant taxa of 9 families were identified and documented as plants allowed to grow with crop plants within farmlands in Gboko LGA. Five standing species were identified within the farms and Parkia biglobosa was the most abundant (33.3%) among the species due to its multiple benefits. In Kwande LGA, 9 species from different families were identified. Four (4) standing plant species were documented, with Parkia biglobosa being the most preferred (42.9%), followed by Vitex doniana (28.6%) among the standing species. Given the importance of the tree species on farmlands and their uses to farmers’ well-being, ranging from use as food, medicines, crafts, local construction, shelter, soil improvement and stability, it is recommended that their conservation be prioritized using appropriate policies and programs to ensure their continued availability on the farmlands of the people.