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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 78 No. 1, p. 47-53
    Received: Aug 6, 1984

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Cassava-Cowpea and Cassava-Peanut Intercropping. II. Leaf Area Index and Dry Matter Accumulation1

  1. S. C. Mason2,
  2. D. E. Leihner3,
  3. J. J. Vorst2 and
  4. E. Salazar3



Cassva (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is comonly intercropped with cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp] and peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) in the tropics. Little is known about the influence of intercropping on leaf area index, dry matter production, or partitioning of dry matter to the harvestable plant part. The objectives were to determine (i) the leaf area index (LAI) and (ii) the dry matter accumulation of the whole plant and harvestable plant part for cassava, cowpea, and peanut when grown in intercropping and sole cropping systems. Cassava, cowpea, and peanut were grown in sole and intercropping systems on a Typic Dystropept soil at Santander de Quilichao, Colombia in 1981 and 1982. Between 30 and 65 days after planting (DAP), the intercropping systems produced LAI's 0.6 to 1.9 greater than those produced in the cassava sole cropping system. In 1981, the intercropping systems produced LAI's that were 0.8 to 1.0 lower than those of sole cropped cassava 150 DAP. The cassava-cowpea and cassava-peanut intercropping systems produced 42 to 250 g m−2 more dry matter than did the sole cropped cassava between 50 and 105 DAP. However, dry matter production at the end of the 11-month growing season was similar for intercropping systems and sole cropped cassava. Intercropping did not influence cassava total plant or storage root dry matter accumulation at final harvest except when intercropped with peanut in 1982. In this case, a reduction in LA1 of 0.8 was associated with production of 4.4 fewer storage roots per plant. These data indicate that rapidly growing cowpea and peanut were able to use space between rows of cassava during the first 100 DAP with minimal effect on cassava growth.

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