A comparative assessment was carried out to determine the enhanced protection by metalaxyl in the control of downy mildew on three varieties of pearl millet (SOSAT-C-88, Ex-Borno and GB 8735). Field trials were carried out in 2007 and 2008 growing seasons. The split-plot design was used with the chemical treatments (metalaxyl, and control) in the main plots while the varieties were assessed in the sub-plots. The treatments were replicated three times. The result of this study showed varying enhanced protections of the pearl millet varieties against downy mildew incidence on the vegetative shoots. SOSAT-C-88 showed the most significantly enhanced (p<0.05) protection against the incidence of downy mildew and consequently on percentage yield. The order: SOSAT-C-88 > Ex-Borno > GB 8735 of enhanced protection was recorded. This trend was consistent for the year 2007 and 2008 under study. Gene effects have been attributed to the resistance potentials of pear millet varieties against downy mildew incidence as indicated also from the results of this study. However, with enhanced protection by suitable fungicides such as metalaxyl, a significant protection against downy mildew incidences can be achieved and yield increased.
Key words: Metalaxyl, pearl millet, downy mildew, enhanced protection.
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