Weed interference in maize zea mays cultivar tzb cowpea vigna unguiculata cultivar vita 5 and maize cowpea inter crop in a subhumid tropical environment 1. influence of cropping season

Ayeni, A.O.; Duke, W.B.; Akobundu, I.O.

Weed Research 24(4): 269-280


ISSN/ISBN: 0043-1737
Accession: 006915758

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Field experiments were conducted in the early and late cropping seasons of 1979 on a loamy-sand Oxic Ustropept in a subhumid environment in Nigeria, using 40,000, 50,000 and 30,000 + 40,000 plants ha-1 of maize, cowpea and maize-cowpea intercrop, respectively. Weed interference effects on crops under no-tillage depended on cropping season, cropping pattern and crop species. In the early and late seasons, respectively, 35 and 29 different weed species were recorded and weed dry weights of .apprx. 10.4 and 5.7 t ha-1 from the plots kept weedy throughout the season reduced corresponding food energy yields by 60 and 82%. Except for the intercrop, which in the early season showed significant yield reduction when exposed to 4 wk weed interference after sowing, all cropping patterns needed > 4 wk interference to show significant yield reductions, regardless of cropping season. In the early season, weed interference accounted more for the yield reductions in monocultures than it did for those in the intercrop, but in the late season all cropping patterns were equally sensitive to weed association. Maize, which performed much better in the early season, showed greater yield reductions than cowpea under early weed interference but less under full-season interference irrespective of cropping pattern and season. Cowpea seed quality was more reduced by intercropping than by weed interference in the early season but neither of these factors affected seed quality significantly in the late season.