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Maize-soybean intercropping system: effects on Striga control, grain yields and economic productivity at Tarka, Benue State, Nigeria


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On-Farm trials were conducted from July to November during the 2009 and 2010 cropping seasons, at Tarka, Benue State, Nigeria to evaluate the effects of intercropping maize and soybean on striga control, grain yields and economic productivity. The treatments consisted of sole maize, sole soybean and the intercrop of maize and soybean, replicated three times in a randomized complete block design. The results obtained showed that intercropping maize and soybean significantly (P ≤ 0.05) reduced striga shoot count by 55.9 % and 56.1 % respectively, in 2009 and 2010 compared to that produced on pure maize plots. Number of affected maize plants, lodging score of maize and infestation rate were lower for intercropping than for sole maize plots. The severity level was also recorded lower for intercropping compared to that recorded for pure maize stands, where severity level is in the range of high to very high. Though, soybean yield was reduced by intercropping, however, soybean and maize intercropping system increased maize grain yield, total intercrop yield, land equivalent coefficient greater than 0.25, land equivalent ratio values greater than one (LER > 1), higher total intercrop values and monetary equivalent ratio greater than 1.00, indicating yield and economic advantages. The implication of study showed that intercropping maize and soybean can be adopted by farmers as an efficient cropping system strategy to reduce striga infestation, increase maize yield and give greater economic productivity.






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  • Department of Crop Production, University of Agriculture, P.M.B.2373, Makurdi, Nigeria


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