Tillage systems and crop combination effect on the growth and yield of maize in a maize/groundnut intercropping systems

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C.I. Oyewole
H. Shuaib
S.E. Attah
E.A. Agahiu
A.N. Oyewole-Ezeogueri


Background and Objectives: This study aimed to assess the impact of crop combination and tillage practices on weed suppression, yield, and yield components in a maize/groundnut intercropping system.
Methodology: The experiment involved five intercropping patterns and three tillage practices. These treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications, employing tillage practices in the main plot and intercrop combinations in the subplot.
Main Results: Significantly (P < 0.05), crop combination influenced maize height at 3, 5, 7, and 9 weeks after planting (WAP) for both the 2020 and 2021 cropping seasons. Sole maize plots exhibited the greatest heights (144.64 and 170.90 cm for 2020 and 2021, respectively), while intercropping one row of maize with two rows of groundnut resulted in shorter crops (121.35 and 150.07 cm for 2020 and 2021, respectively). In 2020, tillage practices significantly affected maize height at 3 and 7 WAP (P < 0.05), but this effect was not observed in 2021. Intercrop combinations, tillage practices, and their interactions had no significant (P > 0.05) impact on the average number of leaves. Generally, tillage practices did not significantly affect maize leaf areas at 5, 7, and 9 WAP in 2020 or at 3 and 7 WAP in 2021. However, interactions between intercrop combinations and tillage practices significantly affected leaf areas at 3, 5, 7, and 9 WAP in 2021 but not in 2020. Days to 50 percent tassel and 50 percent silking were not significantly influenced by crop combination or tillage practices in either year, with no significant interactions observed. Stover yield significantly (P < 0.05) responded to planting patterns and tillage practicoth cropes in bping seasons. However, the 100-seed weight was not significantly (P > 0.05) influenced by intercrop combinations, tillage practices, or their interactions in both seasons.
Conclusions: Planting seeds on flat surfaces yielded the highest grain yield, while ridge planting yielded the lowest grain yield in both seasons. Generally, intercropping proved advantageous compared to sole cropping, with Land Equivalent Ratios (LERs) exceeding unity, making it a recommended practice for the study area.

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