Vol 2 Issue 2 May 2015-August 2015
A. ALI, M.O. IJOYAH, M. USMAN
Abstract: Field experiment was conducted for two years to determine the response of maize-soybean intercrop to tillage practices and fertilizer rates at the Teaching and Research Farm, University of Agriculture, Makurdi. The experimental design consisted of three factors: cropping system at two levels (sole and intercrops), tillage practices at two levels (zero tillage and ridges) and fertilizer rates at three levels (0, 150 and 300 kg/ha of NPK 20:10:10). The treatments were laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in a split-split plot arrangement and replicated three times. The cropping systems were assigned to the main plots, tillage practices to sub-plots and the fertilizer rates were in the sub-sub plots. A composite soil sample was obtained from a plough layer (0-15 cm) at the beginning and at the end of the experiment according to the treatments and analyzed for particle size distribution, pH, organic carbon, total nitrogen, available phosphorus and exchangeable cations [Mg2+, Ca2+, Na+ and K+] as well as cation exchange capacity (CEC) to see if there was a change in the soil properties after the experiment for both cropping seasons. Data collected for the yield parameters of maize and soybean for both cropping seasons were subjected to the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) after which means were separated using Least Significant Difference (LSD) at P<0.05. Results showed that Intercropping reduced the yields of maize and soybean compared with their sole crops. There were higher yields from crops cultivated on ridges as a result of improved access to soil moisture than no-tillage. Soybean yields were generally low due to the shading effect of the maize component. Applying fertilizer significantly (P<0.05) increased the yield of the component crops in both seasons than when no fertilizer was applied. Intercropping resulted in yield advantage; the land equivalent ratio (LER) was (1.53) in 2013 and (1.35) in 2014 showing 35 % and 26 % land saved in 2013 and 2014 cropping seasons. Based on yield and productivity advantage obtained from the intercropping, effect of different rates of NPK fertilizer on the growth and yield of maize and soybean intercrop deserve further investigation using higher fertilizer rates. Soybean should be integrated into the maize production system to enhance increased soil organic carbon content, CEC, N, Ca, Mg and P level. Maize-soybean should be planted on ridges instead of in no-tillage to improve the acquisition of both water and nutrients by the plants.
Maize-Soybean Intercrop, Tillage Practices, Fertilizer Rates, Yield Advantage and Guinea Savanna.
Intercropped Maize and Soybean under Tillage Practices and Fertilizer Rates in Makurdi, Southern Guinea Savanna Zone of Nigeria
A. ALI, M.O. IJOYAH, M. USMAN
International Journal of Novel Research in Civil Structural and Earth Sciences