Authors : D.A. Ukeh , S.O. Emosairue , I.A. Udo and U.A. Ofem
Abstract: Stem borers are the most important field insect pests of maize in the Calabar humid environment of southern Nigeria. Field experiments were conducted in April-July 2004 and 2005 to evaluate the efficacy of neem products for the management of Busseola fusca and Sesamia calamistis in maize plots. Five treatments namely; 3% Crude Neem Oil (3% CNO), 5% CNO, 3% Neem Seed Kernel Extract (3% NSKE), 5% NSKE and the untreated (control) were laid out in the randomized complete block design and replicated 5 times. The experiments showed that there were significant differences (p< 0.05) between neem-treated and the untreated plots in terms of grain yield and the mean number of stem borer larvae per plant. In 2004, the mean grain weight per plant (g) was 3% CNO (65.21), 5% CNO (72.16), 3% NSKE (67.44), 5% NSKE (74.41) and the untreated (45.15). During the 2005 trial, grain weights per plant were; 3% CNO (83.25), 5% CNO (77.82), 3% NSKE (77.57), 5% NSKE (82.6) and the untreated plots (46.15). In 2004, B. fusca had the least larval density per plant of 2.48 in 5% CNO and the highest density of 9.09 in the untreated, while S. calamistis had the least larval colonization of 2.33 in 5% CNO and 7.56 in the untreated plots. And in 2005, the least borer infestation of 2.32 and 2.15 per plant of B. fusca and S.calamistis were obtained from 5% CNO treated plots, respectively. Therefore, neem products offer desirable alternatives to using synthetic chemicals in agricultural systems where protection of the environment and preservation of beneficial organisms are important.
D.A. Ukeh , S.O. Emosairue , I.A. Udo and U.A. Ofem , 2007. Field Evaluation of Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) Products for the Management of Lepidopterous Stem Borers of Maize (Zea mays L.) in Calabar, Nigeria . Research Journal of Applied Sciences, 2: 653-658.