Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Off season production of maize varieties intercropped with melon in a humid tropical environment


A. I. Nwonuala, K. Dumkhana

Recieved Date: 2020-06-28, Accepted Date: 2020-09-24


The field experiment was conducted from September to February, during the 2015 and 2016 cropping seasons at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, to evaluate the off season production of maize varieties intercropped with melon as influenced by the interaction of time of planting maize and to assess the maize variety that will produce good yield and tolerate drought and also the yield advantage of the intercropping system. There were eleven treatments laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in three replications planted same date in three different months (September, October and November). The experimental site was loamy sand, low acidic (pH 6.0), with very low organic matter (1.52%), very low nitrogen (0.01%), with low available phosphorus (17.54 mg/kg). The mean monthly rainfall was 333.59 mm, mean monthly maximum temperature 41.66°C, mean monthly minimum temperature 31.90°C and mean monthly relative humidity 65.39%. Oba super 4 intercrop in the October planting had the largest leaf area of 489.57 cm2 per plant while Ikwerre intercrop in the September planting had the least area (184.43 cm2 ). All the improved varieties (Oba super 2, Oba super 4 and Oba super 98) and their intercrops attained fifty percent flowering earlier than the local (Ogoni and Ikwerre) varieties, except in the November planting where both the local and improved varieties and their intercrops flowered almost at the same time (34 to 48 days). The September planting gave the highest grain yield, followed by the October planting while November planting did not bear fruits. The highest yield was from Oha super 98 variety (0.76 kg/ha) in September planting and from Oba supper 4 variety (0.72 kg/ha) in October planting while the lowest yield was from Ikwerre variety 90.04 kg/ha) in October planting. The highest biomass weight was recorded from Oba super 98 intercrop in both September and October planting while Ogoni intercrop in November planting had the least one (216 g). The highest plant damage by pest (leaf infested) was recorded from the November planting, followed by the October planting. Ogoni intercrop in the November planting had the highest (80%) of plants damaged by pests. September planting had the highest no. of plants lodged, followed by October planting. Oba super 2 intercrop recorded the highest no of plants lodged. October planting recorded the highest biomass yield, followed by September planting. Oba super 98 intercrop in the October planting recorded the highest biomass weight (1216 g) while Ogoni intercrop in the November planting had the least weight (216 g). The lowest biomass yield was recorded from November planting and it did not produce any grain yield. Oba super 4 and Oba super 98 varieties are recommended for their economic and biomass yields and they tolerated the short rainfall deficit in the region.


Time of planting, maize varieties, intercropping

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2020
Volume: 18
Issue: 3&4
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 92-98

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