Effect of Intercropping Maize with Bean at Different Planting Dates in Southern Region of Ethiopia

Alemayehu Zemede


Establishment of the ideal time planting is an important factor for obtaining maximum benefits while growing two different species together. Experiments were carried out at Hawassa agricultural research experimental field in two successive growing seasons (2011/12 and 2012/13) to determine optimal planting time for common bean while intercropping and investigate the performances of the component crops. The varieties BH-543(Maize) and Hawassa-Dume (common bean) were used and grown under conventional tillage practice.  The plot size of 35.7 square was used having 5.1 meter long and 7 meter wide been employed to conduct the experiment. Common bean was planted simultaneously with maize, 30 days after maize and 60 days after maize. Sole planting of maize, sole planting of common bean, sole planting of common bean after thirty and sixty days maize were used to determine relative and land productivity for maize-bean intercropping system. The results showed that average maize grain yield across different planting time in intercropping were almost the same to those obtained from sole cropping in each seasons. Bean seed 60 days after maize had no significant adverse effect on maize yield and an additional 1.3 tons per of bean seed yield was obtained in 2011 growing season. In 2012 growing season, all but simultaneous growing of bean with maize improved maize grain yield higher than the second and last dates of bean intercropping with maize. Relative yields of maize showed that maize yields were lower in mixture than mono cropping during 2011 and higher in 2012. The results of the study also showed that the total yield of maize-bean mixtures per unit area of land were considerably higher than those obtained from the two crops grown separately in both seasons. Overall Land Equivalent Ratio(LER) values for grain yields of maize and beans showed that intercropping compared to sole cropping is advantageous and best indices were obtained at bean planting dates of 60 days after maize in no moisture stress season of 2011 and  same time planting under moisture stress growing season of 2012.

Keywords: intercropping, planting time, land equivalent ratio

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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