Effect of intercropping maize and beans on Striga incidence and grain yield. Integrated Approaches to Higher Maize Productivity in the New Millennium.
GD Odhiambo, ES Ariga
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^ AIntercrops can smother weeds in cereal crops and improve the overall productivity. Although intercropping with beans has long been practised in the region, a practical bean population and arrangement is required in the management of Striga, other weeds and soil fertility to ncrease maize and bean yields. To study whether parasitic weeds like Striga hermonthica can be suppressed and controlled by intercropping, on-farm experiments were conducted in farmers' fields, at Nyadwera, Emabwi, Emuhaya and Kaura in Western Kenya to evaluate maize/bean inter-ropping practices that reduce Striga infestation and increase maize and bean yields during tbe 1999 cropping seasons. Maize was planted simultaneously with beans using different bean planting patterns. Tbe planting system of beans bad no influence on Striga infestation on maize in yadwera and Emubaya during both seasons. Intercropping significantly influenced the parasite infestation on maize in Emabwi during both seasons. In Kaura, the influence of tbeintercrop on Striga infestation depended on tbe season. However, in Emabwi and Kaura grain yields were ignificantly higher under farmers. practices and under intercropping, particularly two rows of beans between two maize rows. During the long rains in Emabwi, intercropping maize with beans with two bean rows between two maize rows increased maize grain yields, significantly, by 51.2% nd 61.4% over farmers practice and intercropping with one row of beans, respectively. Whereas planting arrangements bad no significant influence on parasite counts in Kaura, pure maize significantly produced lower grain yield compared …