FORAGE DRY MATTER YIELD OF INTERCROPPED MAIZE (Zea mays) AND COWPEA (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) IN VARIOUS SPRAY REGIMES AND SEASONS


FORAGE DRY MATTER YIELD OF INTERCROPPED MAIZE (Zea mays) AND COWPEA (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) IN VARIOUS SPRAY REGIMES AND SEASONS


I. E. Ezeaku*, B. N. Mbah and K. P. Baiyeri

Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria


American Journal of Agricultural Research

The demand for crop residues is rising in response to increasing consumption of animal protein while productivity of natural pastures is declining due to adverse effects of climate change, overgrazing and population pressure on land. Although the use of forage crop can complement natural pastures, it is essential that the fodder potential of these crops be assessed. Five varieties of cowpea and one variety of maize were studied with the aim of evaluating their forage dry matter yield under different cropping systems, sowing dates and agro-chemical treatments. Treatments were laid out in split-split plot and arranged in randomized complete block design with three replications across the two years in Ako, South Eastern Nigeria. The results obtained indicated that intercropping cowpea with maize produced more total forage dry matter than sole crop of cowpea and maize. Early season cropping and long duration cowpea significantly (P=0.05) supported higher cowpea fodder dry matter yield in both years. Lowered application of agro-chemical (≤one spray) resulted in higher cowpea fodder production. Significantly (P=0.05) higher dry matter yield was obtained in maize when two insecticide sprays was applied in both sole and intercropping. The higher stover yield obtained in maize with higher insecticide application as against lower cowpea fodder yield with higher chemical application suggested the existence of physiological compensation among the component crops used in this study.


Keywords:  Cowpea, maize, fodder, intercrop, insecticide spray, planting date

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