Maize-Legume Intercropping in the Control of Fall Armyworm, (Spodoptera frugiperda)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) Kitale P.O BOX 450, Kitale, Kenya.

2 Department of Biological Sciences, School of Science, University of Eldoret, P.O.Box 1125, Eldoret, Kenya.


The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of variations in maize-legume intercropping systems in control of FAW in maize production in Kenya. The experimental plots were measured (3m by 4m). The crop spacing was done according to site recommendations. The treatments consisted of a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replicates per treatment. The maize and legume intercrop treatments were Dolichos-maize, bean-maize, soybean and maize. A pure maize stand was used as negative control while a plot with chemical spray was used as the positive control. Data collection started immediately after the crop emergency, at 4-6 leaves of the maize crop. Data collection included (i) percentage (%) plant damage score for each treatment plot, (ii) egg deposition, (iii) number of dead FAWs, (iv) number of FAW larvae at the L2 and L3 stages. Data were analyzed using STATISTICA (version 6.0). All tests were measured at the 95% confidence interval. The percentage plant damage level was highest in maize-only cropping (-ve control) at 2.3 ± 0.3%. Maize receiving chemical control (+ve control) had the lowest plant damage at 1.8 ± 0.3%. The use of legume and maize intercrop including Dolichos+maize intercrop (2.1 ± 0.2%) and beans+maize intercrop (2.0 ± 0.3%) resulted in lower percentage plant damage levels compared to the maize-only treatment but were all higher than percentage plant damage level in chemical treatment suggesting that maize and legume intercropping reduced plant damage compared to maize only cropping.