A two-year study was conducted on an Alfisol in the humid tropics of southwest Nigeria to investigate the effects of tillage and intercropping on soil water characteristics, performance of maize (Zea mays L.) and groundnut (Arachis hypogea L.). The experiment was a split-plot design with tillage methods as the main plot and intercropping as the sub-plots in a completely randomized design with four replications. Tillage treatments were conventional tillage (CT) and no-tillage (NT) while the cropping treatments were sole maize, sole groundnut and intercropped maize + groundnut. Gravimetric soil water content (swgc) showed that NT had higher soil water content in all cropping treatments than CT. NT had significantly (p<0.05) higher infiltration characteristics than CT in all treatments. Intercropped plot of NT had significantly (p<0.05) higher infiltration characteristics compared with intercropped plot of CT. The air-filled porosity in NT intercropping was 29.6% at the 0 to 0.01 m depth, this decreased by 27.3% in CT and for the 0.01-0.02 m depth, it decreased by 7.8%. The yield trend for maize was sole maize NT > NT intercropping > CT intercropping > sole maize CT. For groundnut, the trend was NT sole groundnut > NT intercropped > CT sole groundnut > CT intercropped.
Key words: Tillage, intercropping, soil water retention, infiltration.
Copyright © 2023 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0