Effect of Maize Intercrop and Nitrogen Rates on the Performance and Nutrient Uptake of An Associated Bean Intercrop

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Date
1988
Authors
Chui, J.N.
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Abstract
Two intercropping systems of maize (Zea mays L.) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and 6 N fertilizer levels were used in this experiment in order to investigate how maize intercrop would affect the bean performance and uptake of nutrients and how intercrop bean spatial arrangements and fertilizer nitrogen might affect the competition of maize and bean intercrops in an attempt to improve the total grain yield and land use efficiency.Maize intercropped with beans had no significant effect on bean total dry matter by the time of bean flowering (40 DAP) but thereafter intercrop beans experienced severe competition from maize and at maturity bean total dry matter was reduced on average by 49.7 per cent. In one season, association of maize and beans resulted in maize total dry matter reduction of 33 per cent at 40 DAP and 18 per cent at maturity with beans intercropped with maize in the same row providing greater competition to maize than beans sown. between two maize rows. Application of N fertilizer had no significant effect on total dry matter of maize and bean yield components but there was a tendency for applied N fertilizer to improve total dry matter, pod number, seed number, and seed yield of sole beans and beans of maize and beans resulted in the reduction of bean pod number by 26 per cent, seed number by 44 per cent, seed dry weight per plant by 47 per cent, and seed yield by 58 per cent. Applied N fertilizer and cropping systems had no significant effect on maize seed yield but beans sown in the same rows with maize reduced maize yield by 7 and 25 per cent. Intercropping beans between two maize rows offered maize less competition and resulted in higher total grain yield and land equivalent ratio than intercropping beans in the same row with maize. Beans had greater concentration of N, P, Mg, and Ca than maize. Intercropped beans had taken up more N, P, K, Mg, and Ca than sole beans with beans sown between two maize rows taking up more of these nutrients than beans intercropped with maize in the same row. Maize intercropped with beans in the same row took up less of these nutrients than sole maize and intercrop maize with beans between two maize rows. Maize-bean intercrops took up more nutrients than sole crop maize with a tendency of applied N fertilizer to increase the uptake of N, K, Ca and Mg.
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East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 53 (3), pp. 93-104
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