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Effect Of Plant Population And Spatial Arrangement On The Productivity Of Okra/Amaranthus Intercropping System

Dept. of Crop Science, University of Nigeria
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Two field experiments laid out in randomized complete block design were conducted during 2004 and 2005 wet seasons at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Umuahia to investigate the effects of Amaranthus plant population and spatial arrangement on the growth, yield and productivity of okra/amaranth intercropping system. Okra and amaranth were each planted in monoculture or intercropped between or within rows at either 55,550 or 111,110 plants ha-1 of Amaranthus. The results indicated that intercropping reduced the growth and yields of okra and Amaranthus relative to their sole crops. Okra depressed the growth and yield of Amaranthus. Comparative assessment of the mixture suggested that it was better to grow the two crops separately. There were yield disadvantages of growing them together, especially with the higher Amaranthus population either between or within okra rows where there were 37 or 39% disadvantage (2004) and 38 or 41% yield disadvantage (2005), respectively as depicted by land equivalent ratio (LER) of 0.63 or 0.61 (2004) and 0.62 or 0.59 (2005), respectively. Only slight yield advantages of about 8% in 2004 and 6% in 2005 cropping seasons were achieved with 55,550 Amaranthus plants ha-1 intercropped between okra rows. This could not compensate for difficulties in cultural operations when crops were intercropped.Agro-Science Vol. 7 (1) 2008: pp. 15-21

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