Effect of Fertilizer on Forage Maize and Ginger Production in Maize/Ginger Intercrop under Alley System in Umudike, Nigeria
The fertilizer effect on forage maize dry matter and ginger rhizome yield in maize (zea mays) + ginger (zingiber officinale) intercrop under Dactyladenia barteri based alley system was investigated in 2011 and 2012 in Umudike South-east Nigeria. Test consist of 3 levels of cropping systems (sole maize, sole ginger and ginger + maize) and three (3) levels of inorganic fertilizer (NPK 15: 15: 15) (0, 350 and 450 kg/ha), laid in a randomized complete block design with three (3) replications. Planting was done in May each year using a plot size of 2.5m x 2.5m, ginger sett weighing 20g and maize (Kewesoke) were planted at a spacing of 0.5m x 0.5m on ridges made in-between the Dactyladenia barteri hedgerows (Alley). The plots were mulched with 5 t/ha fresh pruning of D. barteri two days after planting. Data on plant survival, plant height, leaf number, rhizome and maize dry matter yield were taken and subjected to analysis of variance. Results showed that fertilizer rates and cropping systems had no significant effect on forage maize survival, plant height and number of leaf in both years of study. Significant differences were observed for fertilizer treatments on forage maize dry matter. The 450 and 350 kg/ha fertilizer rates had a pooled mean value of 10.7 and 8.40t/ha respectively. These values were significantly higher than the 0t/ha, which had a mean value of 7.42t/ha dry matter. Mean ginger plant survival and plant height showed no significant response for both fertilizer treatments and cropping systems, while significant differences (P<0.05) were observed for ginger leaf number and ginger rhizome yield for fertilizer treatments: 7.25,5.08 and 4.23t/ha for 450,350 and 0kg/ha respectively. Cropping system (intercropping) showed no significant effect on ginger rhizome yield under alley systems, indicating that intercropping may not influence maize and ginger growth, and yield under Dactyladenia barteri based alley system.
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