Evaluating the efficacy of ash source and ash particle size in controlling infestation of bean bruchids (AcanthoscelidesObtectus) in stored beans (Phaseolus Vulgaris)
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Ash is one of the indigenous products used for bruchid management among the subsistence farmers however, knowledge gap still exists on how to optimize the benefit of ash as a protectant of stored grain legumes, concerning the source of the ash and which particle size of the ash would provide maximum grain protection during storage. Therefore an experiment to assess the effect of source of ash and ash particle size on the infestation of Acanthoscelides obtectus in stored beans, (Phaseolus vulgaris) seeds, was conducted at the Entomology laboratory of the Department of Agricultural Production, School of Agricultural Sciences (SAS), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), at Makerere University. The experiment was carried out under laboratory conditions. One hundred clean un-infested seeds of common beans were measured on volume basis and placed in transparent plastic bottles, widely open at one end to which ash from different material sources which includes: wood, cow dung and legume was added. Different ash particle sizes were sorted to 0.5mm, 2mm and mixed particle sizes and then applied at 25% by volume in the bottles. Each treatment bottle was inoculated with 30 mature bruchids which included 20 females and 10 malebruchids. The storage bottles were covered with a white muslin cloth to prevent bruchids from escaping and also to allow ventilation. All treatments were replicated four times in a completely randomized design (CRD). Data were collected on: - Number of adult bruchids that emerged. - Number of infested seeds. - Number of exit windows The effect of source of ash was significant for number of adult bruchids that emerged, total number of infested grains and number exit windows (P< 0.01) which were lowest in bean seeds treated with cow dung ash and highest in bean seeds treated with wood ash. The effect of ash particle size was highly significant (P<0.01).It was observed that the finer the particles the lower the total number of adult bruchids that emerge, number of infested seeds and number of exit windows. The study also showed that particle size influenced the efficacy of the different ashes in controlling the infestation of bean seeds by bruchids. The treatments exerted protectant properties on the treated bean seeds. Cow dung ash is a better protectant against bruchids in stored legume grains followed by legume ash and wood ash had the least protection. The smaller the ash particle size the better the protection the ash will provide against bruchids, the 0.5 mm sieved ash had the best protection followed by the 2mm sieved ash then the un-sieved ash offered the least protection. From this experiment cow-dung ash should be promoted in the management of bruchids, fine particles of about 0.5mm diameter should also be encouraged in the management of bruchids in store. There is need to carry out further studies on more particle sizes and ash from different other materials in nature, this will optimize the benefit of ash for protection of stored legume seeds against bruchids.