Performance of Cowpea (Vigna Unguiculata L. Walp) Varieties Intercropped into Maize (Zea Mays L.) Under Different Planting Patterns
Field trials were conducted at the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) farm, Samaru, Nigeria during 2005 and 2006 cropping seasons to study the performance of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) varieties intercropped into maize (Zea mays L) under different planting patterns. The treatments tested consisted of factorial combinations of six improved cowpea varieties, namely, SAMPEA-2, SAMPEA-4, SAMPEA-5, IAR-1035, IAR-1074, and IT90K-277-2 which were intercropped with maize variety, TZPBSR in three different planting patterns, namely, 1row maize: 1row cowpea in mixed-rows, 1row maize: 1row cowpea alternate rows and 1row maize: 4 rows cowpea: 1 row maize in alternate rows. The treatments were laid out in a randomized complete block design in a split plot arrangement with three replications. The planting pattern was assigned to the main plot while the variety was assigned to the sub-plot. The result indicated that most of the growth and yield parameters of maize were not significantly (P > 0.05) affected by cowpea varieties. There were higher grain and pod yields from variety SAMPEA-2 while variety IAR-1035 produced the lowest pod yield. Planting pattern affected both growth and yield components of cowpea significantly (P > 0.05) in both years, with the 1M: 4C: 1M alternate planting pattern having higher values .The productivity of maize intercropped with cowpea will be enhanced by adopting the IM: IC alternate or 1M: 1C mixed-row planting pattern, if maize is the main crop. However, if ones primary interest is in cowpea grain yield one can recommend that cowpea variety SAMPEA-2 or IAR-1074 under the 1M: 4C:1M alternate planting pattern be adopted since these two varieties performed well in intercropping with maize.
Keywords� Cowpea, Maize, Planting Patten and Variety.