Field experiment was conducted at the University of Maiduguri Research Farm to evaluate the effect of metalaxyl seed treatment methods on downy mildew incidence and yield of pearl millet. Two methods of seed treatment viz. slurry and dust were tested against four improved pearl millet cultivars Super sosat, Sosat-c88, LCIC 9702 and PEO 5984, and a Local cultivar Ex-Borno. Dust application of metalaxyl on seed had higher seedling emergence, plant height and yield, and lower downy mildew incidence and severity than in slurry treatments. Dust application increased seedling emergence and establishment across the two years, by 61.7 and 17.3 %, respectively compared to control. It also reduced downy mildew severity by 79.5 % and increased yield by 181.2 kg/ha, representing 22.6 % increase over the control compared to the 21.9 % increase in yield by slurry treatment. Super sosat developed little or no downy mildew and had the highest grain yield. PEO 5984 was the most susceptible but the earliest maturing cultivar. To farmers who do not read or bother to read instructions or recommendations by manufacturers can apply the product as dust on the dry seeds and choose to plant either the early maturing more susceptible cultivars or the late maturing more resistant ones depending on rainfall or weather prediction for the preceding season.
Cultivar, Metalaxyl, Seed Treatment, Pearl Millet
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