Effects of intercropped legumes with maize (Zea mays L.) on chemical properties of soil and grain yield of maize in Abakaliki, Nigeria
An experiment was carried out to study effects of intercropped legumes with maize (Zea mays L.) on chemical properties of soil and grain yield of maize in Abakaliki. The field was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design with four treatments of soybean (Glycine max) and maize, groundnut (Arachis hypogea) and maize, bambaranut (Vigna subterranean) and maize and sole maize which is the control and were replicated five times. Data obtained from the study were subjected to Statistical Analysis System for Agricultural Science (SAS). Results showed significantly (P<0.05) higher effect of legumes intercropped with maize on soil pH, total N, organic carbon, calcium, magnesium, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and base saturation when respectively compared to values obtained in sole maize monoculture except in soybean intercropped with maize for organic carbon, CEC and base saturation. Soil pH, total N and organic carbon in plot treated with bambaranut and maize intercrop were higher by 9, 35 and 57% compared to their respective values in plot receiving sole maize. Groundnut and maize intercrop had 39, 34, 29 and 10% higher Ca, k, CEC and base saturation than values obtained in sole maize. Legumes intercropped with maize further showed significantly (P<0.05) higher effect on grain yield of maize than in sole maize. Groundnut and maize intercrop had 33, 4 and 44% higher grain yield of maize compared to values recorded in plots receiving soybean and maize as well as bambaranut and maize intercrop and sole maize. Legumes intercrop with maize is recommended as management technology for higher and sustainable soil productivity in Abakaliki agro ecology, but with more emphasis on groundnut and maize intercrop for its phenomenal superior performance and easy accessibility.
Keywords: Chemical properties, fertility, grain yield, Intercropped and legumes
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