EFFECT OF EARWORM (Helicoverpa zea) ON THE GRAIN YIELD OF SELECTED MAIZE (Zea mays) VARIETIES is a well-researched topic, it is to be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research
The experiment was performed to determine the variety that can resist the infestation of an earworm (Helicoverpa zea) which included four maize varieties such as Across98, NoMa1212, Oba superII, and Landrace. The treatments were fitted into a completely randomized design (CRD).
During the experiment, all the data collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using the SAS institute (2002-2003) version 9.1 with the compatibility of 32-byte operating system. The parameters which include cob number, damage and grain weight were analyzed and the result showed that the effect of earworm infestation varies among the four maize varieties on number of cob, damage, and grain weight with Across98 having less effect on damage, and a higher number of grain weight and cob number was recorded in Across98 and consequently, Landrace and NoMa1212 were noted to have a greater effect on damage and less number of cob.
Maize (Zea mays L.) belongs to the family of grasses (Poaceae). It is cultivated globally, being one of the most important cereal crops worldwide (IITA, 2010). In Nigeria, and indeed in most of Sub-Saharan. Africa. maize derives socio-economic importance form its value as staple food item (contributing to household food security), animal feed, agro-industrial and trade item, thus growing the economy and alleviating poverty (Effa et al., 2012; Farid et al., 2007; Tena and Beyene, 2011). Nigeria is Africa’s largest producer of maize (IITA, 2013); production traverses diverse agro-ecological zones (from the rainforest to the Northern Guinea Savanna), and cropping systems prevalently small scale, rain-fed, and polyculture (Undie et al., 2012). The annually increase in the rate of output is largely attributable to the expansion of the expanse of land cultivated (Badmus and Ariyo, 2011). Yield-detrimental factors include non-use or inefficient application of improved production technology, non-existent or low-level plant health management skills, low capital outlay, and inefficient resource utilization (Anon., 2012; Badmus
and Ariyo, 2011). Maize is cultivated by both small scale and commercial farmers worldwide (Onwueme and Sinha, 2004). It is categorized third in terms of both production and consumption, following rice and wheat worldwide (Yayock et al, 2005). It cultivation started form South and Central America, it was brought to West Africa by the Portuguese in 10th
a century and one of the important grains in Nigeria, not only on the basis of the number of the farmer that engaged in its cultivation, but also in its economic value, as it is cultivated in the rainforest and the derived savanna zones of Nigeria (Iken and Amusa, 2004). In Ghana, maize is the first among the cereal crops grown (Gounou et al., 2000; Yayock et al., 2000). The crop is cultivated across the entire ecological zones of Ghana. The Ashanti Region, which is around the forest zone, is one of the leading regions where the crop is cultivated twice in a year, i.e, the major season from April – July and the minor season from August- November. Maize is paramount as a human nutrient, as well as a preliminary element of animal feed and raw material for the manufacture of many industrial products (Romains, 2001). The products are corn starch, corn flakes,
maltodextrins, corn oil, corn syrup, and products of fermentation and distillation industries. It is also being recently used for biofuel (Romains, 2001). In industrialized countries, maize is largely used to prepare livestock feed as well as raw material for industrial products, while in most developing countries, it is mostly used for human consumption (IITA, 2007). About 66% of maize produced worldwide is used for feeding livestock, 25% for human consumption, and 9% for industrial and seed purposes (Romains, 2001). Maize is an important precursor of
carbohydrate, protein, iron, vitamin B, and minerals. Several improved maize varieties with different maturity periods have been developed and released to farmers by the CSIR- Crops Research Institute(CSIR-CRI) of Ghana to meet the needs of growers in the different ecological
zones of Ghana (Twumasi et al., 2003, 2004). These varieties include Okomasa, Abeleehi, Obatanpa, Dadaab, Mamba, CIDA-ba, Golden Jubilee Maize. Dadaab, Mamaba, Golden jubilee, CIDA –band Obatanpa are quality protein maize (QPM) varieties developed and released by
CSIR- CRI (Asiedu et al., 2001). Unlike normal maize, these QPM varieties have adequate amounts of lysine and tryptophan. In Nigeria, corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea) belonging to the family Noctuidae, and the lava of the moth damage up to seven maize cultivars such as NoMa
1212, Oba Super II, Across 97, TZB, TZPB, WYI, 096EP6, Farz 25, Kewasoke, and local White in the early and late cropping seasons of 1980 and 1981 in the rainforest and derived savanna zones of Nigeria (researchgate, 2008). These cultivars contribute to improvement of soil porosity, and are cost minimizing varieties (Aziz et al., 2010). The quality product maize produces 70–100% more of lysine and tryptophan than most modern varieties of tropical maize; their high yielding potential coupled with their high nutritive value make them the best varieties to boost maize production (Asiedu et al., 2001).