Advantages of Maize-Cowpea Intercropping over Sole Cropping through Competition Indices

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Journal of Agriculture and Biodiversity Research


Different mix-proportions and planting patterns of maize (Zea mays L.) and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) were compared with the sole cropping of each crop during 2010 and 2011 growing seasons under the southern Guinea savanna conditions in Nigeria. The experiment comprised of 6 treatments: sole maize (51,282 plants ha-1), sole cowpea (61,538 plants ha-1) and 4 maize-cowpea intercropping mixproportion: 100 maize:100 cowpea, 50 maize:50 cowpea, 60 maize:40 cowpea and 40 maize:60 cowpea, using randomized complete block design with three replications. Evaluation of the intercropping patterns was performed on basis of several intercropping indices such as land equivalent ratio (LER), relative crowding coefficient (K), aggressivity (A), competitive ratio (CR), actual yield loss (AYL), and intercropping index (IA). The study revealed that the mix-proportion of 50 maize: 50 cowpea, gave a similar grain yield compared to other intercropped plots, better land use efficiency, significantly (p≤ 0.05) lowest actual yield loss of 23 % and a significantly (p≤ 0.05) higher intercropping advantage of +574.66. The study also revealed that intercropping systems could be an eco-friendly approach for reducing weed problems through non-chemical methods, mix-proportion of 50 maize: 50 cowpea, planted on alternate rows could be a better intercropping pattern



Mix-proportion, planting pattern, weeds, maize, cowpea