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2Department of Crop Protection, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria
The yields of two sugar cane varieties Bida local and Co 957 were reduced by varying concentrations of Sporisorium scitamineum [M. Piepenbr., M. Stoll & Oberw. 2002 (Syn: Ustilago scitamiea H. & P.Sydow)], the causal organism for whip smut of sugar cane at Badeggi (lat. 9°045' long. 6°07'E at an altitude of 70.57m. a. s. l). The two varieties of sugar cane were inoculated with four levels of S. scitamineum inoculum, 0 × 106, 2 × 106, 4 × 106 teliospores/ml respectively and planted in a split plot design in four replicates between 1998 and 2000. Results showed that their yields were significantly impaired by the effect of whip smut. The 6 × 106 teliospores/ml inoculum concentration recorded the least yield in the two test cane varieties. The yields of Bida local in all the two crop cycles from 1998 to 2000 were significantly lower than the yields of Co 957. Regressions of whip smut incidence on cane yields of Co 957 and ‘Bida local’ for two crop cycles showed that in both years, there was significant negative correlation between the incidence of whip smut and cane yield, except in 2000 on Co 957 ratoon crop. The highest yield reduction by whip smut was from the plant crop of Co 957 in 1998 and the ratoon crop of ‘Bida local’ in 1999 where each unit rise in whip smut incidence caused cane yield reduction of between 1.00-1.9 t/ha and 0.1-1.9 t/ha in Co 957 and ‘Bida local’ respectively. In monetary terms and at current rate of 1US$ to 200 Nigerian Naira (N200), the cane grower of the two cane types looses between $600-1140/t or N120,000-228,000 for Co 957 and $60-1140 or N12000–228,000 for ‘Bida local’ chewing cane. In the 1999 evaluation, each unit rise in incidence of whip smut reduced the yield of Co 957 by 0.4-0.6 t/ha which resulted in the cane grower of the two type sugar cane losing $240-360/t or N144, 000-216,000 for Co 957 and by 1.1-1.9 t/ha resulting in $660–1140 loss/t or N132, 000-684,000 for ‘Bida local’ respectively in the 1999-2000 crop cycles.