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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Plant Density and Soybean Maturity in a Soybean-Maize Intercrop


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 87 No. 5, p. 965-969
    Received: Aug 12, 1994

    * Corresponding author(s): ckh@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu
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  1. C. K. Hiebsch ,
  2. F. Tetio-Kagho,
  3. A. M. Chirembo and
  4. F. P. Gardner
  1. D ep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-05
    D ep. of Agriculture, P.O. Box 222, Univ. Ctr. of Dschang, Dschang-Cameroon
    S tatistics Section, Dep. of Education, Univ. of Florida, Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-05



Long, warm seasons that are inadequately filled by sole crops can be more productive when more fully utilized by intercrops. The effect of plant densities and plant maturity on the magnitude of this increased productivity is not well documented. During two seasons of ≥ 190 d at 29°38′ N lat, maize (Zea mays L.) at 12 densities (from 1.0 to 10.0 plants m−2) and two soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] cultivars, representing Maturity Groups VIII (Cobb) and VI (Davis), at three densities (3.0, 8.5, and 24.0 plants m−2) were grown in intercrop and sole crop in fan designs. Soybean was planted 56 d (1985) and 31 d (1986) after maize. Soybean density did not affect maize yield (P ≤ 0.05). Although predicted sole-crop Cobb and Davis seed yields were not different (P ≤ 0.05), averaging 336 g -2, the two cultivars were differentially affected by maize density. Each unit increase in maize density (plants m-Z), reduced soybean seed yield 20% for Cobb and 47% for Davis at 3.0 soybean plants m−2 and 7% for Cobb and 35% for Davis at 24.0 soybean plants m−2. Cobb had two to three trifoliolates expand after maize removal, while Davis had all leaves fully developed at maize harvest. Land equivalency ratios (LER) were <1.1 for Davis-maize and peaked at for Cobb-maize. Area-time equivalency ratios (ATER) were <0.8 for Davis-maize and peaked at 0.9 for Cobb-maize. Davis-maize was not a viable intercrop. The Cobb-maize intercrop at 24 soybean plants m−2 over a range of maize densities utilized the long growing season more productively (LER = 1.4) than in sole crop; the increased productivity was due to increased season use (ATER < 1.0).

Contribution from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Florida Agric. Exp. Stn. Journal Series no. R-03527.

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