Use of organic soil amendments in management of fusarium moniliforme
Alakonya, Amos E.
Monda, E. O.
Owino, P. O.
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Efficacy of soil amendments in management of root infection by Fusarium moniliforme was evaluated in the greenhouse at Kenyatta University. The amendments used were neem cake, sunflower cake, cotton cake, goat manure, farmyard manure (Fym), and a combination of Fym with neem cake, sunflower cake, cotton cake, or goat manure. F. moniliforme used was isolated from kernels in western Kenya, a maize ear rot disease prevalent region. Seeds of a susceptible maize variety H622 seeds were used during the study. Non-amended soil acted as the control. Plants were harvested at 30,60 and 90 days after planting. At every interval, plant length, shoot dry weight, root dry weight were assessed. Pathogen recovery from the soil, roots, crown and node was also evaluated at the intervals. The results revealed that different soil organic amendments had significant effects on the pathogenecity of F. moniliforme and plant performance. Goat manure had significant suppressive effects on root infection when used singly, but the effects were less than those obtained from a mixture of goat/Farm yard manure. Efficacy of various amendments were rated as follows starting from the most to the least effective; goat, goat/Fym, neem/fym, cotton, Fym, cott/Fym, sun/fym, neem and sunflower respectively. In general organic amendments reduced the survival and infection of maize plants by F. moniliforme compared to controls. The population of F. moniliforme reduced gradually with time after planting. Results from this study suggest that the use of organic amendments might be a viable option in the management F. moniliforme in areas where the pathogen is prevalent. Key words: Fusarium moniliforme, ear rot, maize, soil organic amendments.