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Termite-Induced Injuries to Maize and Baby Corn under Organic and Conventional Farming Systems in the Central Highlands of Kenya

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Anyango, John; Bautze, David; Fiaboe, Komi K.M.; Lagat, Zipporah; Muriuki, Anne W.; Stöckli, Sibylle; Onyambu, Gladys; Musyoka, Martha W.; Karanja, Edward N. and Adamtey, Noah (2019) Termite-Induced Injuries to Maize and Baby Corn under Organic and Conventional Farming Systems in the Central Highlands of Kenya. Insects, 10 (10), p. 367.

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Online at: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/10/10/367

Summary

Termite-induced injuries to maize and baby corn were evaluated in on-going comparison experiments on organic and conventional farming systems at two trial sites in the Central Highlands of Kenya (Chuka and Thika). The farming systems were established in 2007 at two input levels: Low input level, representing subsistence farming (Conv-Low, Org-Low) and high input level, representing commercial farming (Conv-High, Org-High). Termite-induced injuries to maize and baby corn, such as tunneling the stem or lodging the whole plant were assessed over two cropping seasons. The lodging occurred exclusively at Thika. It first became apparent in the Org-Low system, with most of lodging occurring during the vegetative stage. Baby corn grown under high input systems showed increasing lodging from the late vegetative crop stage and peaked before the final harvest. Tunneling was recorded at both sites, but was generally below 5%, with no significant differences between the farming systems. Overall, the injury patterns caused by termites appear to be a function of the plant growth stage, termite colony activities, trial site, and the types and levels of fertilizer input. Thus, the management practice used in each farming system (organic or conventional) might have greater influence on crop injuries than the type of farming system itself or the termite abundance within each system.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Termites, Maize damage, Farming systems research, Organic farming
Subjects: Farming Systems
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Root crops
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International Cooperation
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Plant Protection and Biodiversity
Kenya
DOI:10.3390/insects10100367
Deposited By: Bautze, David
ID Code:37396
Deposited On:02 Mar 2020 10:24
Last Modified:02 Mar 2020 10:24
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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