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Preliminary studies of pest constraints to cotton seedlings in a direct seeding mulch-based system in Cameroon

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The present study evaluated the pest constraints of an innovative crop management system in Cameroon involving conservation tillage and direct seedingmulch-based strategies.We hypothesized that the presence of mulch (i) would support a higher density of phytophagous arthropods particularly millipedes as well as pathogenic fungi that cause severe damage to cotton seedlings and (ii) would reduce early aphid infestations.The impact of two cover-crop mulches Calopogonium mucunoides and Brachiaria ruziziensis on the vigour of seedling cotton stands and arthropod damage was assessed in two independent field experiments conducted in 2001 and 2002 respectively. In both experiments the presence ofmulch negatively affected cotton seedling stand - by 13-14 % compared to non-mulched plots and the proportion of damaged seedlings was higher in mulched than in non-mulched plots supporting the hypothesis that mulch favoured soil pest damage. In both experiments insecticidal seed dressing increased the seedling stand and the number of dead millipedes collected and fungicide had little or no effect on seedling stand and vigour. It was however observed in 2002 that the fungicide seed dressing had a positive effect on seedling stand in non-mulched plots but not in mulched plots suggesting that fungi may have been naturally inhibited by B. ruziziensis mulch. The dynamics of aphid colonization was not influenced by the presence of mulch. In 2001 taller seedlings were found in mulched than non-mulched plots probably due to greater water and nutrient availability in C. mucunoides -mulched plots than in non-mulched plots.

Mots-clés : Légumineuses, brachiaria, ravageurs, Pesticides, mulch, Coton

Protection insecticide du sorgho repiqué (Muskuwaari) contre les dégâts de foreurs des tiges Sesamia cretica) au Nord-Cameroun

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Au Nord Cameroun, l'extension de la culture du sorgho repiqué Muskuwaari des vertisols modaux aux sols vertiques avoisinant les champs de culture pluviale s'est traduite par une augmentation des dégâts du foreur de tiges Sesamia cretica autant sur ce sorgho de saison sèche que sur sorgho pluvial. Entre 2001 et 2003 on a ainsi relevé dans la région de Maroua une perte moyenne de rendement liée aux foreurs de 330 kg/ha (soit de plus de 40%)(Mathieu et al. 2006). Pendant la saison de culture 2003-04, des tests de protection chimique conduits avec 3 matières actives (m.a) de synthèse (imidaclopride, acétamipride et thiametoxam), et des extraits végétaux de Jatropha curcas et neem Azadirachta indica, ont placé en tête l'acétamipride et le neem comme respectivement la m.a et l'extrait végétal les plus efficaces (Aboubakary et al. 2005). De nouveaux essais ont été conduits pendant la campagne 2004-05, pour établir des références sur les molécules insecticides susceptibles d'être utilisées et les modalités d'application, avec le souci du meilleur compromis entre efficacité vis-àvis du ravageur, rentabilité économique et impact environnemental.

Mots-clés : sorgho, ravageurs, Pesticides

Factors affecting cotton seedling in mulch-based cropping systems in North Cameroon

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In mulch-based cropping systems, soil cover harbours a lot of organisms that may improve soil fertility but may also affect crop health. In the cotton systems of Cameroon, some millipedes (Diplopoda: Julidae) could become important pests by provoking important seedling damages. This study assesses the influence of mulch on the stand and health of cotton seedlings, as well as diagnoses emergence constraints. Two different assays were carried out during the growing season, one withCalopogonium mucunoides (2001) and the other withBrachiaria ruzisiensis (2002), both as cover crop mulches. The two studied factors were (1) presence or absence of mulch and (2) seed protection (insecticide and/or fungicide). Cotton seeding in non tilled soil showed that seedling stand was globally inferior under mulch compared to nude soil. In the supposed absence of soil structure or texture differences, this constraint seemed to come from exacerbated pressure of soil pests, for which mulch provides favourable habitat. With equivalent insecticide protection, seedling stand resulted significantly greater on nude soil, with less visible symptoms of attacks. On the other hand, mulch provided better growth of seedlings, associated with greater aphid infestation but balanced by seeding precocity that permits escape from delayed arrival of aphids. The major risk associated with seedling in mulch-based cotton is soil pests, whose species impact should be assessed to define sustainable control strategy based on the preservation of beneficial soil macrofauna.

Mots-clés : semences, sans travail du sol, ravageurs, Pesticides, mulch, scv, Coton
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