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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 103 No. 4, p. 1058-1063
    Received: Dec 2, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): cwortmann2@unl.edu
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Maize–Bean Intercrop Weed Suppression and Profitability in Southern Ethiopia

  1. T. Workayehua and
  2. C. S. Wortmann *b
  1. a Awassa Agricultural Research Center, P.O. Box 366, Awassa, Ethiopia
    b Dep. of Agronomy and Horticulture, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, Keim Hall 369, Lincoln NE 68583-0915


Cereal–legume intercropping often results in increased productivity, weed suppression, and N supply. The agronomic and economic benefits of maize–bean (Zea mays L. –Phaseolus vulgaris L.) intercropping were studied for 5 yr in a complete factorial with: 0, 1, and 2 weedings (W0, W1, W2); and single (MB) and double (MBB) rows of bean alternated with one row of maize. Sole crop maize and bean were included. Weed infestation in intercrop was 30% less compared with sole crop bean but with inconsistent differences across years. Weed biomass was 13% less with MBB compared with sole-cropped maize. Ears m−2 were 55% more in seasons with better rainfall compared with 1999 and 16% more with W1 or W2 compared W0. Mean maize grain yield was 3.74 Mg ha−1. Weeding frequency (WF) effect on maize grain yield was inconsistent across years but yield was 75% more with W2 compared with W0. Overall, maize grain yield was 19% more with MB compared with MBB but the effect was significant in 1997 only. Mean bean yield was 1.07 Mg ha−1 and was inconsistently affected by treatments across years. Bean yield was on average 52 and 67% more with W1 and W2, respectively, compared with W0, and 35% more with MB compared with MBB. Intercropping resulted in land equivalent ratios (LER) of 1.0 to 2.4 with a WF effect. Mean net income (NI) was greatest with MB and W1. Overall, intercropping suppressed weeds and was more productive and economical than sole crop production.

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