Maize–Bean Intercrop Weed Suppression and Profitability in Southern Ethiopia
- T. Workayehua and
- C. S. Wortmann *b
Cereal–legume intercropping often results in increased productivity, weed suppression, and N supply. The agronomic and economic benefits of maize–bean (Zea mays L. –Phaseolus vulgaris L.) intercropping were studied for 5 yr in a complete factorial with: 0, 1, and 2 weedings (W0, W1, W2); and single (MB) and double (MBB) rows of bean alternated with one row of maize. Sole crop maize and bean were included. Weed infestation in intercrop was 30% less compared with sole crop bean but with inconsistent differences across years. Weed biomass was 13% less with MBB compared with sole-cropped maize. Ears m−2 were 55% more in seasons with better rainfall compared with 1999 and 16% more with W1 or W2 compared W0. Mean maize grain yield was 3.74 Mg ha−1. Weeding frequency (WF) effect on maize grain yield was inconsistent across years but yield was 75% more with W2 compared with W0. Overall, maize grain yield was 19% more with MB compared with MBB but the effect was significant in 1997 only. Mean bean yield was 1.07 Mg ha−1 and was inconsistently affected by treatments across years. Bean yield was on average 52 and 67% more with W1 and W2, respectively, compared with W0, and 35% more with MB compared with MBB. Intercropping resulted in land equivalent ratios (LER) of 1.0 to 2.4 with a WF effect. Mean net income (NI) was greatest with MB and W1. Overall, intercropping suppressed weeds and was more productive and economical than sole crop production.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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