PRODUCTIVITY OF MAIZE/COWPEA MIXED-INTERCROPPING AS INFLUENCED BY POULTRY MANURE, NITROGEN MANAGEMENT AND COWPEA VARIETIES IN SAMARU
The study assessed the profitability of maize/cowpea intercropping in Samaru. The data was obtained from a field research carried out in the Research and Teaching farm of the Institute for Agricultural Research, Samaru, Zaria, during the 2018 and 2019 cropping seasons. The treatment consisted of three rates of poultry manure (0, 3 and 6 tons/ha), two ways of split N application to maize (two split dose and three split dose), and two cowpea genotypes arranged in a split plot design replicated four times. Results from the research showed that both poultry manure and triple split N dosage application significantly increased maize and cowpea yield in both years; with best economic results obtained with the application of 3 tons ha-1 of poultry manure. Assessment of the suitability of the intercropping system as defined by Land Equivalent Ratio (LER) and Relative Yield (RY) showed that higher yields were obtained from the intercrop compared to the sole as reflected in the LER values being more than one (1) units. Application of 3 tons ha-1 of poultry manure gave the highest gross margin (GM) with a corresponding return on investment (ROI) of 59% indicating that for every naira invested in the venture (ie 3 tons ha-1), five (5) naira eighty nine kobo (5.89) profit was realized. Research therefore recommended the application of 3 tons ha-1 of poultry manure in addition to double split of 45 kg ha-1 of nitrogen fertilizer at 2 and 4 WAS to achieve maximum economics benefits of maize-cowpea intercropping system in Savanna Alfisols
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