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


P.O Njoro, Kenya E-mail:

KARI Headquarters P.O Box 58711 NIAROBI


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

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


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

0b 21.0b 21. The soybean cultivar planted was EAI 3600 instead of cv Hill. The whole plot was harvested for soybean seed yield.1ab 10. Intercropping was assessed. 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.70 1. 000 plants/ha of maize was used.1 100 seed weight (gm) 10. intercropping soybean in maize did not significantly affect any of the yield components.V% Height (cm) 47.3a 17.5b 25.85 2.application of insecticides. by use of Land Equivalent Ratios (LERs).9 Means followed by the same letter are not significantly different at the 5% level Maize spacing: 90cm by 30cm 1480 . The data collected was subjected to an analysis of variance using computer SAS programme.4 50.7b 5.0ab 9. Five plants from each plot were sampled randomly for the determination of height and yield components. Maize variety used was same as in 1997.05) reduced as compared with sole soybean treatment. relative to that of sole crops. 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 of44.9 50. 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. 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. A similar trial was planted in the long rains of 2001.10 2.2ab 9. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION In 1997.1 Pods/plant 40.00 1.0 49.8a 10. When intercropped the pods were significantly (P=0.6b 10.95 1.00 16.0 45.9 Seeds/pod 2.0 9.8b 17.8 48.5b 20. 1980). The seed weight was also significantly (p=0. the soybean plant heights and the number of pods per plant were affected by intercropping with maize.05) reduced by intercropping (Table 1).

30 1. 1 Maize spacing: 90cm by 30 cm Maize spacing: 75cm by 30cm. 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 1.85 1.78 1.0 1.60 0. % 1982 - 2554 2247 2048 2066 2976 29.0 0.91 Means followed by the same letter are not significantly different at the 5% level.0 1. pods per plant and seeds per pod were not affected by intercropping with maize.47 1481 .0 0.9 776a 252b 462ab 613ab 392b 45.51 Totals LERs Sole maize1 Sole soybea1 One row1 Two rows 1 Three rows1 Same row 1 C.32 0.V.05) affected.0 0.31 1.26 1.32 0.0 0. 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. In both years maize was the dominant component ot the intercrop in terms of partial LERs.22 0. In 2001 Soybean yields were reduced by 21 to 68% as compared to the sole cropped soybean (Table 3).79 0.6 1115a 280b 390b 310b 440b 455b 22.60 0.5 1.0 1.11 0.6 1.04 1.64 1.98 1.85 0.Maize spacing: 75cm by 30cm In 2001 soybean plant heights at maturity.11 0.41 Totals LERs Sole maize1 Sole soybean1 One row1 Two rows 1 One row2 Two rows 2 Same row 1 C.48 1.96 1.54 1.79 0.V.50 1. % 3585 3500 3996 3062 3430 38.0 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 1.98 1.

and as such can be viewed as a kind of stress. though. therefore. it was apparent that maize was the dominant component in the intercrop. Yield advantages were determined using Land Equivalent Ratio (LER). 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. 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. 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. In 1997. In this study.Means followed by the same letter are not significantly different at the 5% level. It is. Intercropping involves competition. 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. 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. however. two rows of soybean planted between two rows of maize resulted in superior LER (Table 3). Cultivar selection should. In 2001. 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). 1 Maize spacing: 75cm by 30cm. be directed at minimizing intercrop competition and maximizing complementary effects. that soybean cultivar differences exist in their competitive abilities. the observed differences in LERs in the two years could be attributed to the different cultivars of soybean used as intercrops with maize. the intercropping of soybean and maize seeded in the same row resulted in superior LER than the other treatments (Table 2). Van der Meer (1989) noted that both competition and facilitation take place in many intercropping systems. Maize is taller than soybean in stature. 1482 . Although two different soybean cultivars were used in the two years of this study to intercrop with maize. Thus. There seemed. 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). 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. The higher yield reduction of soybean when intercropped with maize could be due to interspecific competition and depressive effect of maize crop. an LER>1 could result from low interspecific competition or strong facilitation.

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

F: CIMMYT. Experimental Agriculture. African Crop Science Journal.E. and O.F. insect pest damage. In Waddington. 1990. Cereal. PP 667-677 Mutungarimi A. Proceedings of a workshop on research methods for cereal/legumes intercropping in Eastern and Southern Africa. In Waddington. New York.S. Intercropping morphologically different types of maize with cowpeas: LER and growth attributes of associated cowpeas. Effects of maize density.E.N.F. . R.T. Mexico.. 2007. J. A. The Ecology of Intercropping. T. Omunyin. D. 17: 407-413. Mariga I. Wien (1996). Intercropping research experience in Zambia.. M.L. Ugen M. Pp184-189 Wahua.S.A. Mwania.M. Chumo. Muriithi. 41-49 Van der Meer J (1989).. and Akenya.O. 2001. competition and yield advantages in a maize/bean intercrop. 1981.. The effect of mixture proportions and fertilizer nitrogen on morphology. African journal of Agricultural research. 1484 . Edje eds: Research methods for cereal/legume intercropping.J.Muoneke C.. M. and O.l. Ogwuche M.A. 1990.E. and Milikau. Babalota. Edje eds: Research methods for cereal/legume intercropping: Proceedings of a workshop on research methods for cereal/legume intercropping in Eastern and Southern Africa. Palmer. 4. O.9 (3) 487-497. and Chivinge O.W.. and Kalu B. Pp 165-175 Mwaipaya. R. A. African Crop Science Journal. palmer. C. pp. N. No. D. R.O.E. Effect of maize planting density on the performance of maize/soybean intercropping system I a gunea savannah agroecosystem.C.A.T..T.Legume intercropping research in Kenya.A.and H.: CIMMYT..Vol. bean cultivar and bean spatial arrangement on intercrop performance. A. Cambridge University Press.F. Mexico.