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Crop Germinative Emergence of Maize (Zea mays) and Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana) as Affected by Plastic Waste Material

, Mokaya Dennis Chweya, Kitur Esther, Koske James

Abstract: Plastic waste material continues to present environmental challenges throughout the world. Of greatest concern is their disposal in agricultural soils where they interfere with soil fertility due to its inability to decompose fast. Specifically, the research examined under experimental conditions the crop germinative emergence of (Zea mays L.) and finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn) as affected by plastic waste material commonly disposed in urban and rural environments of Kenya. The plastic types were identified by their thickness of 30 microns. The experiment was laid out in a 2 by 1 Randomized Block Design (Latin Square) with two replicates in plots each measuring 1m x 1m. The data collected involved determination of emergence percent cover. The date of planting was noted and records were taken from the day first shoot emergence was observed in controls for 10 days. Percent emergence measurements was done for at least 10 days and this involved taking of vertical photographs of each plot from the day first shoot emergence was observed in controls. Assumptions of normality were found to be satisfactory and the set hypotheses were supported by the results. In the overall, there were significant differences (P<0.05) between E. coracana planted in soils mixed with 6 microns thick plastic material and the ones planted in controls. The EPC mean for the E. coracana planted in soils mixed with 30 microns thick plastic material was 25.78%, while controls had 75.58%. There were significant differences (P<0.05) between Z. mays in soils mixed with 6 microns thick plastic material and the ones planted in controls. The EPC mean for the Z. mays planted in soils mixed with thick plastic material was 41.52%, while that of control groups was 86.18%. In conclusion, there were a significant difference (P<0.05) in effects of 6 microns’ thick plastic material on germinative emergence of the two food crops, that is; E. coracana and Z. mays and hence the study recommends that, plastic waste material of any thickness should be avoided on farmlands where Z. mays and E. coracana are grown.
Keywords: soils / mays / coracana / plastic material / thick plastic / mixed / plastic waste material / Crop / germinative

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