The Effect of Population of Maize on the Performance of Component Crop in Cowpea – Maize Intercrop


The effects of plant population density of maize on performance of component crop on cowpea-maize intercrop, were studied in field experiments at the Teaching and Research Farm, University of Agriculture Makurdi in 2005 and 2006 cropping season, the experiment was set as a 2×3 factorial in split plot design and was replicate three times. Cowpea varieties that are Ife-brown and Kano-white constituted the main plots whereas maize population density occupied the subplots. The main crop had a constant population density of 40,000 plants/ha while maize in sub plot crop had varying population densities of 10,000, 20,000, and 40,000 plants/ha. Sole crop of maize and cowpea were also included in the experiment. Cowpea and maize planted at the same time. The results indicate that population density of maize at 40,000 plants/ha have significant effects on yield of cowpea varieties. Grain yield of maize was highest when maize planted at population density of 40,000 plants/ha. Population interaction effect and varieties was not significant on grain yield of maize in 2005. Interaction effect showed that yield was highest (765.3 kg/ha) when Kano-white variety of cowpea was planted with maize population density of 10,000 plant/ha while the least grain yield 613.3 kg/ha was obtained when Kano-white was planted with maize population density of 40,000 plants/ha . Land Equivalent ratio (LER) was greater than 1, indicating efficiency of resource use.

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