Effect of Facilitative Interaction of Sorghum-Cowpea Intercrop on Sorghum Growth Rate and Yields

Andrew Ogolla Egesa, Steven Njeru Njagi, Catherine Wanjiku Muui

Abstract


Change in temperature and rainfall patterns has resulted in lower midlands of Kenya to become hotter and drier, resulting in lower sorghum yields in these marginal areas. A field experiment was conducted in Eastern Kenya using cowpea-sorghum intercropping to compensate lower sorghum yields. Random complete block design (RCBD) was adopted with four intercropping patterns (treatments) replicated four times. The different intercropping patterns, included: sole sorghum [1(0), control], sorghum-cowpea intercropping [1(1)], sorghum-cowpea-lines ratio [2(3)], mixed sorghum-cowpea sowing. Plant height, number of leaves and leaf broadness were recorded at every 13 days, initiated 7 days after emergence. The total grain yield was measured at harvesting. Data collected was subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using scientific analysis software (SAS, 9.1), and means separated at Fishers 0.05 LSD. Sorghum in pattern 1, produced broader leaves and higher yield of sorghum grains, (2.9 t ha-1). Pattern 2 (2.5 t ha-1), and 3 (2.3 t ha-1), resulted in relatively lower yields. The sole crop-sorghum [1(0)] was the poorest at 1.8 t ha-1, yielding below the cultivar potential of 2t ha-1. Sorghum-cowpea uniform intercropping [1(1)] resulted in higher sorghum yield potentially due to fertility advantage of legume crop. This results indicate the importance of using suitable intercropping patterns for realization of intercropping benefits in areas with low soil fertility and erratic rainfall.


Keywords


Climate change; High Yields; Intercropping; Low inputs; Sorghum; Yield security

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References


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