African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6863

Article in Press

FORAGE DRY MATTER YIELD OF INTERCROPPED MAIZE (ZEA MAYS) AND COWPEA (vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) IN VARIOUS SPRAY REGIMES AND SEASONS

INNOCENT EZEORAH EZEAKU

The demand for crop residues is rising in response to increasing consumption of animal protein while productivity of natural pastures is declining because of adverse effects of climate change and population pressure on land. Although use of fodder crop is a potential option to natural pastures their fodder potentials need to be assessed. Five cowpeas and a maize variety 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 in randomized complete block design with three replications across the two years in Ako, south eastern Nigeria. Results indicated that intercropping cowpea with maize produced more total forage dry matter than sole crop due probably to efficient use of resources. Early season and long duration cowpea significantly (P=0.05) increased fodder dry matter yield in both years. Lowered application of agro-chemical (≤one spray) resulted in higher fodder production. Significantly (P=0.05) higher dry matter yield was obtained in maize when two insecticide sprays was applied in both sole and intercrop. Higher stover yield obtained in maize with two insecticide application was due to reduced cowpea forage dry matter production suggesting physiological compensation among component crops. Integrating appropriate agro-chemical treatments, planting dates and cropping systems can contribute substantially in improving forage dry matter yield as it modifies the relative periods of complementarities and competitiveness of component crops.

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