On-farm trials were conducted in the northern Guinea savanna of Nigeria. The objective was to compare integrated Striga hermonthica control measures (soyabean or cowpea trap crop in the first year followed by maize resistant to Striga in the second year) with farmers' traditional practices (cereal-based cropping systems) under farmer-managed conditions.
Integrated control proved to be highly effective in terms of reducing Striga incidence both in terms of reduced seed density in the soil and decreased infection in maize. Resistant maize following the soyabean trap crop yielded 1.58 t ha−1 of grain and out-yielded local maize following traditional practices by more than 80%. Similarly, the overall productivity over the period of the experiment was highest with the integrated control treatment using soyabean. Conversely, resistant maize after the cowpea trap crop yielded only 0.92 t ha−1 (possibly due to the poor performance of the cowpea crop in the first year), and maize yields were similar to those obtained with farmer practices. Initial Striga seed density in the soil was negatively correlated (r = −0.33) with soil nitrogen, but nitrogen-fertilizer application rates did not seem to affect the level of Striga infection in maize.