Effects of different cropping pattern on performance of maize-soybean mixture in Makurdi, Nigeria

M.O. Ijoyah, F.T. Fanen

Abstract


Field experiments were conducted from July to November during the 2009 and 2010 cropping seasons, at the Research Farm, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria, to evaluate the effects of different cropping pattern on performance of maize-soybean mixture and to assess the advantage of the intercropping system. The treatments consisted of four cropping patterns, which consisted of alternating one stand of maize with one stand of soybean (1sM:1sS); one stand of maize alternated with two stands of soybean (1sM:2sS); one row of maize alternated with one row of soybean (1rM:1rS); and one row of maize alternated with two rows of soybean (1rM:2rS), while the sole crops of maize and soybean constituted the fifth and sixth treatments, which also serve as controls. The six treatments were replicated four times in a randomized complete block design. The results obtained showed that alternating 1sM:1sS gave the greatest intercrop yields of maize and soybean and highest land equivalent ratio (LER) values of 1.87 and 1.86 respectively, in years 2009 and 2010, indicating that the greatest productivity per unit area was achieved by growing the two crops together alternating 1sM:1sS, than by growing them separately. With these LER values, 46.5 % and 46.2 % of land were respectively saved in 2009 and 2010, which could be used for other agricultural purposes. This study showed that in a maize-soybean intercropping system, the appropriate cropping pattern would be alternating 1sM:1sS. This should therefore be recommended for Makurdi location, Nigeria.

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