EFFECTS OF INTERCROPPING PATTERN ON SOYABEAN AND MAIZE YIELD IN CENTRAL RIFT VALLEY OF KENYA

Kipkemoi, P.L1, Wasike, V.W.2., Ooro, P.A.1, Riungu, T.C3, Bor, P.K1. and Rogocho, L.M1.
1

KARI-Njoro

P.O Njoro, Kenya E-mail: Karinjoro@karinjoro.org
2

KARI Headquarters P.O Box 58711 NIAROBI
3

KARI-Muguga

ABSTRACT
Intercropping is being adopted as a method of crop production in Kenya. Farmers often intercrop legumes with non-legumes. A study to assess the productivity of maize (Zea mays L) and soybean (Glycine mux (L.) Merr.) in sole cropping and intercropping systems was done at National Plant Breeding Research Centre – Njoro in 1997 and 2001 seasons. Soybean was seeded in one, two or three rows between two maize rows and on the same row with maize. The maize population densities of about 44,000 and 36,000 plants per hectare were used in 1997 and a uniform plant population of about 44,000 plants per hectare was planted in 2001. The control treatments were sole cropping maize and sole cropping soybean at about 55,000 and 222,000 plants per hectare respectively. The trial layout was completely randomized block design with four replicates in both years. Intercropping significantly (p=0.05) reduced soybean number of pods per plant and 100 seed weight in 1997 but not in 2001. Grain yield of soybean in the soybean- maize intercrop was reduced by 59% to 75% in 1997 and 21% to 68% in 2001 compared to sole cropped soybean. Land equivalent ratio on both years was greater than one, indicating that this cropping system is profitable in terms of land utilization. It was concluded that maize is a dominant component crop in maize and soybean intercropping system and that it is advantageous to intercrop. Key words: Intercropping, sole cropping, intercrop, Land equivalent ratio (LER), maize. Soybean

INTRODUCTION
Intercropping is the growing of two or more crop species simultaneously on the same field. This is a common practice in most countries in the tropics. Maize, potatoes, oilseed crops and pulses are commonly used as

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Nitrogen fixing legumes generally do not need Nitrogen fertilizer. in the agro-ecological zone LH3 . 1974. soybean planted in the same row with maize and sole maize crop. 1990). 1990).2 to 1. 1990). (Dallal. Maize was spaced at 75cm by 30cm and 90cm by 30cm with population of about 44. (Andrew and Kassam. Various reasons have been given for the adoption of the system in Kenya (Mwania. one row of soybean between two rows of maize.000 plants per hectare respectively. The plots were maintained clean by weeding three times and insect pests of soybean were controlled by 1479 o C and 8 o C. In both years the test crops were hand planted. The LER of maize-soybean intercrops ranged from 0. The advantage is often expressed as a land equivalent ratio (LER). Soybean production in the farming system of central Rift Valley is gaining increased awareness as a good source of human protein food. need for balanced diet. et al. Baker and Norman. The soybean cultivar planted was Hill and its component crop was maize hybrid H614D in 1997. et al. and two rows of soybean between two rows of maize. These include risk of crop loss due to adverse environmental conditions. which lies at an altitude of 2160m above sea level. The treatments included sole soybean.98 to 1. and 1. legumes may contribute additional nitrogen to the soil. The rainfall is bimodal and well distributed (886 mm/yr) with an average maximum and minimum temperatures of 24 respectively (Jaetzold and Schmidt. MATERIALS AND METHODS The study was carried out at Njoro (0o 20' S and 35o56'E) in Nakuru District. . Kenya.55 in Zambia (Mwipaya. The objective of the study was to evaluate the productivity of intercropping soybean with maize.000 and 37. There are several possible benefits of intercropping legumes with non-legumes.component of intercrops combination crops in Kenya. the non-legumes requires additional mineral nitrogen for optimum growth. The plot received 100 kg/ha of Diammonium phosphate at planting. whereas. 1976). The gross plot dimensions were 6m by 3m. deep to dark reddish brown friable and silt clay soils with humic top soil. LER greater than one indicates that more sole cropped land than intercropped is required to produce a given amount of product. Besides its own nitrogen requirement. The experimental design was a completely randomized block design replicated four times.8 in Ethiopia (Kidane. which can be used by the component crop in the intercrop or the succeeding crops. Higher nutrient uptake and better water use efficiency have also been suggested. 1983) The field was under commercial wheat crop the previous year in both years. In terms of land use efficiency intercropping is regarded as more productive than sole cropping. 1975). and the desire to optimize the use of labour and to optimize the use of land. The soils are vintric mollic andosols that are well drained.

The LERs were calculated using the formula: LER = Ym/Sm + Ys/Ss Where Ym and Ys are the respective yields of maize and soybean in intercropping and Sm and Ss are the respective yields of maize and soybean in sole cropping.0b 21.0 49. Maize variety used was same as in 1997. The soybean cultivar planted was EAI 3600 instead of cv Hill.6b 10.2ab 9. The seed weight was also significantly (p=0. The whole plot was harvested for soybean seed yield.1ab 10. which is defined as the proportion of land area that is required for sole cropping to produce the same yields as intercropping (Mead and Willey.8a 10. the soybean plant heights and the number of pods per plant were affected by intercropping with maize. 1980).95 1.0ab 9. 000 plants/ha of maize was used.5b 20.0 9. A similar trial was planted in the long rains of 2001. Different pattern of Table 1: Soybean yield components as affected by intercropping with maize at Njoro in 1997 Treatment Sole soybean One row1 Two rows1 One row2 Two rows2 Same row2 C.8 48. Intercropping was assessed. Five plants from each plot were sampled randomly for the determination of height and yield components.9 50. relative to that of sole crops.4 50.00 1. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION In 1997.application of insecticides.1 Pods/plant 40.9 Seeds/pod 2.9 Means followed by the same letter are not significantly different at the 5% level Maize spacing: 90cm by 30cm 1480 .10 2. The differences to treatments of 1997 is the inclusion of three rows of soybean between two rows of maize and the fact that a uniform population of44.5b 25.1 100 seed weight (gm) 10. by use of Land Equivalent Ratios (LERs).00 16. intercropping soybean in maize did not significantly affect any of the yield components.0 45. When intercropped the pods were significantly (P=0.0b 21.V% Height (cm) 47.8b 17.7b 5.85 2.70 1. The data collected was subjected to an analysis of variance using computer SAS programme.05) reduced by intercropping (Table 1).05) reduced as compared with sole soybean treatment.3a 17.

9 776a 252b 462ab 613ab 392b 45.04 1. % 1982 - 2554 2247 2048 2066 2976 29.05) affected. In 2001 Soybean yields were reduced by 21 to 68% as compared to the sole cropped soybean (Table 3).11 0.5 1.54 1.30 1.64 1.98 1.0 0.98 1. 2 Table 3: Seed yield and land equivalent ratios of maize and soybeans in sole crops and intercrop systems planted in 2001 at Njoro Treatment Yields (kg/ha) Maize Soybean Maize Partial LERs Soybean 1.V.91 Means followed by the same letter are not significantly different at the 5% level.96 1.26 1. Soybean grain yield was reduced by 59% to 75% when intercropped with maize (Table 2) but the yield of maize was not significantly (p=0.51 Totals LERs Sole maize1 Sole soybea1 One row1 Two rows 1 Three rows1 Same row 1 C.79 0. 1 Maize spacing: 90cm by 30 cm Maize spacing: 75cm by 30cm.47 1481 .85 1.0 1.85 0.22 0.41 Totals LERs Sole maize1 Sole soybean1 One row1 Two rows 1 One row2 Two rows 2 Same row 1 C.Maize spacing: 75cm by 30cm In 2001 soybean plant heights at maturity.0 0.60 0.32 0.0 1. In both years maize was the dominant component ot the intercrop in terms of partial LERs.0 0. pods per plant and seeds per pod were not affected by intercropping with maize.6 1.32 0.50 1. Table 2: Seed yield and land equivalent ratios of maize and soybeans in sole crop and intercrop systems planted in 1997 at Njoro Treatment Yields (kg/ha) Maize Soybean Maize Partial LERs Soybean 1. % 3585 3500 3996 3062 3430 38.60 0.78 1.V.0 1.0 0.0 1.6 1115a 280b 390b 310b 440b 455b 22.31 1.11 0.48 1.79 0.

1482 . an LER>1 could result from low interspecific competition or strong facilitation. There seemed. Thus. Although two different soybean cultivars were used in the two years of this study to intercrop with maize. and that it is possible to obtain the net result of land equivalent ratio (LER where the complementary facilitation is contributing more to the interaction than the competitive interference. Yield advantages were determined using Land Equivalent Ratio (LER). These results are similar to those reported by Mutungarimi et al (2001) who observed that the intercropping of maize and beans in the same row resulted in highest LER value to other intercrops. This is in agreement with the results reported by Finlay (1975) who observed that in maize/soybean and sorghum intercrops on alternate row arrangement was superior to planting on the same row or the same hole. therefore. advantageous to intercrop maize with soybeans since yield of maize is not significantly affected and at least some yield of soybean is realized from the same piece of land. that soybean cultivar differences exist in their competitive abilities. Maize is taller than soybean in stature. the intercropping of soybean and maize seeded in the same row resulted in superior LER than the other treatments (Table 2). the observed differences in LERs in the two years could be attributed to the different cultivars of soybean used as intercrops with maize. and as such can be viewed as a kind of stress. be directed at minimizing intercrop competition and maximizing complementary effects. Intercropping involves competition. however. In 1997. The yields obtained from two and three rows of soybean between maize rows spaced at 75cm by 30cm were statistically similar and higher than other intercrop treatments.Means followed by the same letter are not significantly different at the 5% level. it was apparent that maize was the dominant component in the intercrop. Van der Meer (1989) noted that both competition and facilitation take place in many intercropping systems. 1 Maize spacing: 75cm by 30cm. The higher yield reduction of soybean when intercropped with maize could be due to interspecific competition and depressive effect of maize crop. Intercropping of maize planted at a population of 53330 plant/ha with soybean at 266660 plant/ha reduced the number of soybean pods per plant by 46% and the seed yield per hectare by 42% and 46% in the early (may) and late (July) seasons respectively (Muoneke et al (2007). It is. The total LER in both years for all intercropping treatments were greater than one indicating that all the treatments had an advantage in land use (Table 2 and 3). two rows of soybean planted between two rows of maize resulted in superior LER (Table 3). In 2001. Cultivar selection should. though. In this study. Ezumah et al (1987) and Wahua et al (1981) reported 55% to 61% and 40% to 55% reduction of cowpea yield when cowpea was intercropped with maize.

2B. 10:219-224. Special publication No. Agriculture. Palmer.(1990). Mexico. and Norman. (1987). Intercropping is much more efficient in utilizing the available resources than sole cropping as indicated by the high LER values ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The authors wish to thank GTZ soybean project for providing funds for the study in 1997 and the Centre Director. R. In proceedings of Regional soybean conference.I. Central Kenya (Rift Valley and Central province). R. and O. IRRI. 1-10. The concept of a ‘Land Equivalent ratio’ and advantages in yields from intercropping. Proc.T. R. R. 79: 275-280. 334-336.J.W. 1974. Amare A. Pg.I. Mead. Ministry of Agriculture. Addis Ababa. and Willey.. pg. P. 27.. In Waddington.C. D.F: CIMMYT.CONCLUSION The results of this study showed that soybean and maize could be intercropped.S. 14-17 October. Dallal.F. Edje eds: Research methods for cereal/legume intercropping: Proceedings of a workshop on research methods for cereal/legume intercropping in Eastern and Southern Africa. D... Intercropping soybean in cereals.H. and Kassam. A. Jaetzold. A. National Plant Breeding Research Centre for encouragement and facilitation of the study. RERERENCES Andrews. P. (1975). Los Banos. Experimental Agriculture.B. R. G. Finlay.C. and Triplett.A.E. Cereal/Legume intercropping research in Ethiopia.F. Adhonon N. Wisconsin. Madison. Nguyen Ky Nam and Walker. (1983) Natural conditions and farm management handbook of aKenya Vol. (1975).404 Kidane G. Agromomy Journal. Baker. and Woldeyeuss. D. Cropping systems in Northern Nigeria. R. Effect of intercropping maize with pigeon peas on grain yield and nutrient uptake. America society of Agronomy. 1483 121- . (1974). R.W. In multiple cropping edited by Paperdick. Republic of Kenya 154:379. 16: 217-218. E. H. 1980. Ezumah. Phillipines. Legesse D. and Schmidt. A. (1976). Cropping system workshop. Sanchez. Experimental.C. Maize-cowpea intercropping as affected by nitrogen fertilization.

insect pest damage. D. and Kalu B.L.S. A. and Chivinge O. 1990. 2007. Cereal.A.O. PP 667-677 Mutungarimi A. Palmer. Pp184-189 Wahua. 1981. D. African Crop Science Journal. Chumo. Mariga I. Babalota. and Akenya. N.A. bean cultivar and bean spatial arrangement on intercrop performance.E.J.E. and O. Experimental Agriculture. A.C. The Ecology of Intercropping.A. C.T. and O. Omunyin.. Mexico. 1484 . 41-49 Van der Meer J (1989). 1990.9 (3) 487-497. Muriithi.T. O. Mwania. The effect of mixture proportions and fertilizer nitrogen on morphology. Effect of maize planting density on the performance of maize/soybean intercropping system I a gunea savannah agroecosystem. T.T. pp. R. palmer. M. J.Vol. A. New York. and Milikau.S. In Waddington.F. Edje eds: Research methods for cereal/legume intercropping: Proceedings of a workshop on research methods for cereal/legume intercropping in Eastern and Southern Africa. Edje eds: Research methods for cereal/legume intercropping. African journal of Agricultural research.: CIMMYT.E. Intercropping research experience in Zambia. Proceedings of a workshop on research methods for cereal/legumes intercropping in Eastern and Southern Africa. Ogwuche M.. . In Waddington. Intercropping morphologically different types of maize with cowpeas: LER and growth attributes of associated cowpeas.E. 2001.F.F..Legume intercropping research in Kenya. Cambridge University Press..O. African Crop Science Journal.F: CIMMYT.N. 4. R. 17: 407-413.A.. Effects of maize density.Muoneke C. competition and yield advantages in a maize/bean intercrop. M.l. Mexico. Pp 165-175 Mwaipaya.and H. No.. Wien (1996)..M. R.W.. Ugen M.

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