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Organic farming provides improved management of plant parasitic nematodes in maize and bean cropping systems

Atandi, Janet G.; Haukeland, Solveig; Kariuki, George M.; Coyne, Danny L.; Karanja, Edward N.; Musyoka, Martha W.; Fiaboe, Komi K.M.; Bautze, David and Adamtey, Noah (2017) Organic farming provides improved management of plant parasitic nematodes in maize and bean cropping systems. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 247, pp. 265-272.

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Intensification of agriculture, combined with poor agronomic practices have increased the incidence of plant parasitic nematodes (PPN) and other soil pathogens in East Africa, which consequently affects crop productivity in small holder farms. The objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of farming systems in management of PPN and to recommend the best practice to farmers. Therefore, two field trials were established, one infarmer fieldsandoneon-station,usingmaize (Zeamays L.), intercroppedwithbeans(Phaseolusvulgaris L.) and in rotationwith beans as asole crop. Organic farming(that receivedcompost, Tithonia diversifolia and neem cake (Azadirachta indica)) was compared to conventional farming (that received fertilizer and nematicide), farmer practice (that received manure, Tithonia diversifolia and wood ash), and a farm with no input application (control). After threeyearsof continuouscultivation, twelve generaofPPNwere recovered fromsoiland/or root samples from the trials. Under inter- and sole-cropping at both sites, the abundance of PPN including Pratylenchus and Meloidogyne were significantly reduced in the organic system compared to the conventional, farmer practices and control. Organic farming was effective in reducing the genera of PPN below the control for a longer period (4 months) compared to conventional farming and farmer practice (2 months). The findings demonstrated the potential of organic farming in the suppression of PPN at the farmer level. Policy development and extension services can therefore consider organic farming as an alternative method in managing soil-borne nematodes in small holder farms in sub-Saharan Africa. However, further studies are required on other crops, in dry areas and the period to top-dress with organic amendments to assure effective suppression of PPN in organic farming.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Intercropping, Sole cropping, Maize, Beans, Nematode suppression, Department of International Cooperation, Agriculture in the tropics, SysCom, System comparison, Kenya, FiBL65003
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Root crops
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International
Related Links:http://www.systems-comparison.fibl.org/
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:31976
Deposited On:13 Jul 2017 08:52
Last Modified:13 Jul 2017 08:52
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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