Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 5, Issue 3&4,2007
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Influence of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) population density on weed infestation and yield of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.]


Ekpo M. Ossom

Recieved Date: 2007-04-09, Accepted Date: 2007-08-15


The commonest cropping system used by small-scale farmers in tropical Africa is mixed cropping in which various crops are planted in combinations on the same field, and in the same cropping season. The farmers use a range of populations that could lead to variability in yield; it would be expedient to determine the plant populations of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) that could be planted with sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] to achieve effective weed control and yield benefits. A field investigation was conducted in Swaziland in 2006/2007 cropping season, to determine the effects of different populations of groundnut on weed density, weed species distribution and crop yields, under a fixed population of sweetpotato. Five cropping system treatments [(1), pure sweetpotato at 33,333 plants ha-1; (2), monocropped groundnut at 100,000 plants ha-1; (3), sweetpotato (33,333 plants ha-1) + groundnut at 100,000 plants ha-1; (4), sweetpotato (33,333 plants ha-1) + groundnut at 66,667 plants ha-1; and (5), sweetpotato (33,333 plants ha-1) + groundnut at 33,333 plants ha-1] were compared in a randomized complete block design, replicated six times. Pure sweetpotato yielded not significantly higher (11.2 t ha-1) than under intercropping (mean yield, 6.8 t ha-1). A variation of 21.8% in marketable tuber yields (correlation coefficient, r = -0.4267; r2 = 0.2181; n = 24) could be associated with weed density at harvest. Intercropped sweetpotato with the lowest groundnut population (33,333 plants ha-1) had the lowest number (14) of weed species, whereas the highest number of weed species (17) was observed when the highest groundnut population (100,000 plants ha-1) was intercropped with sweetpotato. Interspecies weed competition might have contributed to reduced tuber yields. It is recommended that small-scale farmers plant sweetpotato (33,333 plants ha-1) with 66,667 plants ha-1 of groundnut.


Sweetpotato, groundnut, mixed cropping, intercropping, weed infestation, weed density, tuber yield, plant population, population density, land equivalent ratio

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2007
Volume: 5
Issue: 3&4
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 304-310

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