Growth and yield of cassava as influenced by maize and cowpea population density in south eastern, Nigeria
Two field trials were conducted at the research farm of the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike, Igbariam sub-station (060151N, 060521E) in 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 cropping seasons to determine the growth and yield of cassava as influenced by maize and cowpea population densities. Cassava at a density of 10,000 plants per hectare was intercropped with maize at 13,333, 20,000 and 40,000 plants/ha, and cowpea at 16,666, 22,222, 33,333 plants/ha, respectively. Cassava was planted in monoculture and intercropped with maize and cowpea. The experiment was arranged in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications. The results revealed that increasing maize population beyond 13,333 plants/ha significantly reduced growth and yield parameters of cassava. Also, growth and yield attributes of cassava significantly increased as cowpea density increased from 16,666 to 33,333 plants/ha. However for optimum growth and yield of cassava in cassava/maize and cassava/cowpea mixtures respectively, cassava at 10,000 plants/ha + maize at 13,333 plants/ha or cassava at 10,000 plants/ha + cowpea at 33,333 plants/ha are recommended in the study area.
Keywords: Cassava, maize, cowpea, planting density, growth, yield and intercropping