Investigating Agroclimatic Feasibility of Kenaf/Maize Intercrop in Forest-Savannah Transition Zone of Southwest Nigeria
Agroclimatic feasibility of intercropping kenaf with maize in kenaf/maize mixtures was determined. Tainung1, Ifeken400, DMR-LSR-Y, Tainung1/DMR-LSR-Y and Ifeken400/DMR-LSR-Y were randomized in a complete block design with three replicates in a field trial during the early planting season of 2007. The phenological stages of each of the crops formed the basis of investigation. Selected agrometeorological variables were measured daily. The distribution of the thermal indices, temperature and photoperiod were optimal for kenaf growth. Mean soil temperatures of 31.5oC at planting encouraged over 80% of seed emergence. Mean air temperature fall within the temperature requirement for kenaf. During the phenological stages of kenaf and maize, the mean air temperature was adequate especially during the thermal sensitive stages. The fact that the mean relative humidity fall within the recommended values, insect pests attack occurred at the early stage of the vegetative period. On the basis of distribution of rainfall (827.4mm) and actual water availability (591.0mm) in relation to water requirement of kenaf (236.4mm), moisture indices were found to be optimum. Both the mean bast fibre yield and seed yield of Tainung1 were higher than Ifeken400 but no significant difference (P<0.05). Results also showed that the pattern of cropping system have effect on the yield components, as the yield of sole-planted kenaf was significantly (P<0.05) higher than the kenaf/maize intercropped. The grain yield recorded for sole-planted maize also indicated significant effect of cropping system. The results suggested that the study area supports the cultivation of kenaf/maize intercrop.
Keywords: Agrometeorological variables, intercropping, kenaf/maize, phenological stages