Prevalence and distribution survey of an invasive alien weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) in Sheka zone, Southwestern Ethiopia. African Journal of Agricultural Research 5(9): 922-927.

African journal of agricultural research (Impact Factor: 0.26). 01/2010; 5(9):922-927.


Parthenium hysterophorus L, an invasive annual weed, is originated in tropical America and spread to Asia, Australia and Africa. In Ethiopia, it appeared first in Harrarghie in the 1970’s and it later spread to central, northern, southeastern and southern Ethiopia. Currently, it is spreading to Southwestern Ethiopia, but its prevalence and distribution has not been assessed and documented. So, a survey on its prevalence and distribution, awareness of its effects, and control measures taken was carried out in three ‘woredas’ (districts) of Sheka Zone, southwestern Ethiopia. The survey was carried out in 2001 using a questionnaire completed by Agricultural professionals and visual observations. Since 1999, P. hysterophorus was observed mostly on market places, road sides, and arable and waste lands of some areas of Yeki Woreda but not in the other Woredas. Almost all respondents knew about its invasiveness and adverse effects, and were able to identify it from other weeds. In different woredas of the zone, different mechanical control measures, teaching of the community and reporting to higher offices were attempted so far in order to minimize its further spread and adverse effects on ecology. However, more efforts and all combinations of possible preventive measures are needed to control its further invasions in the region.

Key words: Parthenium hysterophorus, weed, survey, prevalence, distribution.

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    ABSTRACT: Field experiments were conducted from 2008 to 2011, at western Hararghe zone, Eastern Ethiopia to evaluate the effect of urea and common salt treated glyphosate on parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus). The experiments were arranged in randomized complete block design with five replications. Glyphosate herbicide at 3 L/ha was applied with different rates (0, 50, 100 and 150 ml) of urea and common salt. From the pooled analysis of variance over years it was observed that there existed a significant difference among treatments (p<0.05) in which the total population of parthenium weed mortality was noted at 25 days after applications across years for 3000 ml of glyphosate treated with 150 ml of urea and 150 ml of common salt. Results from this experiment showed that treating 3000 ml of glyphosate with 150 ml of urea and 150 ml of common salt solutions and spraying at 6 to 8 leaves stages resulted in complete mortality of parthenium weed in short period of time by increasing the phytotoxicity of this herbicide. While spraying this solution at 50 and 75% flowering stages showed poor mortality rates on this weed. This study also elucidated the complete change of parthenium infested plots into soft weed species that suppresses the re-emergency of this noxious weed. This helps in reducing the soil seed bank of parthenium weed, thus its population declines over successive years. This finding helps in reducing the rate and frequency of glyphosate application in conservation tillage and plantation crops like coffee and fruit farms, thus managing cost of parthenium weed can be significantly reduced.