A study was carried out with the objectives to evaluate the effect of intercropping dates of cowpea with maize on grain yield, fodder yield and quality as well as its effect on weed suppress. It was conducted at Adiha in Kola Tembien district, Tigray, Ethiopia under irrigation conduction. Randomized complete block design with five treatments and four replications was used. The treatments were sole maize sown (T1), sole cowpea sown (T2), cowpea planted 15 days before maize sowing (T3), cowpea intercropped simultaneously with maize (T4) and cowpea intercropped 15 days after maize sowing (T5). The total fodder dry matter (DM) yield was significantly higher (p<0.0001) in T3, T4 and T5 than T1 and T2. Fodder quality in terms of CP content was higher in T2, T3, T4 and T5 than T1. Maize stover yield and maize grain yield were similar among sole maize sown and cowpea intercropped at different dates with maize. Similarly, there is was no difference for cowpea biomass among sole cowpea sown and cowpea intercropped at different dates with maize. Intercropping of cowpea at different dates with maize significantly reduced weed biomass compared to sole maize and sole cowpea sown. The marginal rate of return indicated that cowpea intercropped at different dates with maize provided higher economic return than sole maize cropped. Therefore, according to this research, it is recommended that small scale irrigation beneficiaries can use alternatively cowpea intercropped simultaneously with maize or cowpea planted 15 days before or cowpea intercropped 15 days after maize sowing to boost the total dry matter yield and nutritional quality of feeds in terms of crude protein (CP) in Kola Tembien district and in other areas with similar agro-ecologies.
Keywords: Crude protein, dry matter, marginal rate of return and stover.