How do I control Striga in my maize farm?
Striga, also known as witchweed, is a parasitic weed that can cause significant yield losses in maize. Here are some steps to control Striga in your maize farm:
Crop rotation: Plant non-host crops like legumes, sorghum, or millet in the infested field for two to three seasons to starve the Striga seeds of a host plant and reduce the Striga population.
Use Striga-resistant maize varieties: Plant maize varieties that have been bred for Striga resistance to reduce the severity of Striga infestation.
Early planting: Plant your maize early so that it reaches the flowering stage before the Striga emerges from the soil. This reduces the chances of Striga attaching to the maize roots and parasitizing the plant.
Fertilizer application: Apply phosphorus fertilizer at planting to stimulate early maize growth and reduce Striga infestation. Avoid nitrogen application, as it stimulates Striga germination and attachment.
Biological control: Use Striga biocontrol agents such as Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. strigae, which is a fungus that parasitizes the Striga seeds in the soil and reduces the Striga population.
Chemical control: Use herbicides like Imazapyr and Glyphosate to control Striga. However, this method should be used cautiously and according to the manufacturer's instructions to avoid harming the maize crop.
By following these steps, you can control Striga in your maize farm and improve your maize yields
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