Studies on organic materials for the production of modified atmosphere for maize weevil control in stored maize
Ahmed Ibrahim Yuya and Tadesse Birhanu
The production of modified atmospheres (MAs) by composting fresh cow dung, chopped fresh sugarcane and chopped dry maize stubble each wetted at 60% moisture content was studied. These substrates gave the lower O2 content (3.5% and 3.7%, respectively) compared to the dry maize stubble which resulted in lower CO2 level (9%) and the highest O2 content (19%). The efficacy of the MAs produced by these substrates was also studied in simulated storage structures in the field by letting the produced gas mixtures to storage structures containing 3 quintals of weevil susceptible BH-540 maize variety. Significantly (p<0.01) higher mean numbers of weevils mortality and lower mean number and weight of damaged grains and weight losses were recorded in maize grains treated with Quickphose (fumigant standard check) and modified atmospheres from fresh cow dung and fresh sugarcane. Germination test did not show any variation among the treatments. The result of this study showed that the gas from biological digestion of fresh cow dung and chopped sugar cane can be used as control option for maize storage pest in airtight storages.