Potential use of Flemingia macrophylla as mulch for managing weeds in young cocoa in Ghana

  • FK Oppong Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, P. O. Box 8, New Akim-Tafo, Ghana
  • K Osei-Bonsu Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, P. O. Box 8, New Akim-Tafo, Ghana
  • FM Amoah Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, P. O. Box 8, New Akim-Tafo, Ghana
  • K Acheampong Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, P. O. Box 8, New Akim-Tafo, Ghana

Abstract

The prospects for using Flemingia macrophylla and Mucuna pruriens in combination with manual weeding during the establishment of young cocoa was investigated. The following treatments were compared: Clean weeding three times/annum + F. macrophylla planted in the inter-rows of cocoa and biomass used as mulch; clean weeding of cocoa lines (1 m wide) three times/annum + Mucuna cover crop; and clean weeding four times/annum. The use of Flemingia mulch in combination with manual clean weeding three times/annum resulted in large girths and taller cocoa plants than in plots where Mucuna was used as cover crop. The girth and height of the young cocoa seedlings in the Flemingia plots were, however, not significantly different from those in plots where weeds were manually clean-weeded four times/annum. Seedling mortality was lower in the plots with F. macrophylla (7 per cent) than in plots which had Mucuna cover crop (13 per cent). Flowering and jorquette formation occurred earlier in the Flemingia plots than in the other treatments. The potential biological benefits of using F. macrophylla in an integrated weed management programme in young cocoa and the application cost are discussed.

Ghana Jnl agric. Sci. Vol.31(1) 1998: 67-72
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Articles

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