JA Bassi, BH Kabura
Field experiments were conducted in 2015 and 2016 rainy seasons at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Department of Crop Production, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri (11047N; 12016E) to study the performance of pearl millet varieties (Pennisetum glaucum) (L.) R. Br.) intercropped with cowpea (Cowpea Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) varieties under different planting dates. The treatments consisted of three pearl millet varieties: ZATIP, SOSAT-C-88 and LACRI-9702-IC, two cowpea varieties: Borno Brown and SAMPEA 11 and four planting dates: 0 weeks after planting millet (WAPM), 1 WAPM, 2 WAPM and 3 WAPM. The experimental design was Split-Split plot with the pearl millet varieties allocated to the main plots, cowpea varieties assigned to the sub-plots and planting date assigned to the sub- sub plots in 1:1 alternate row arrangement, and replicated three times. The results showed that in 2015, 2016 and the combined mean, number of tillers/plants, harvest index and grain yield/hectare were significantly greater for SOSAT-C-88 than ZATIP or LACRI-9702-IC. Plant height, panicle were significantly greater for ZATIP, while, yield/hectare were significantly greater for Borno Brown than SAMPEA 11 variety. Delaying planting date by three weeks after planting the millet component decreased grain yield and fodder yield in cowpea. The land equivalent ratio of pearl millet and cowpea variety showed that, higher partial land equivalent ratio were produced by SOSAT-C-88 + Borno Brown. The partial land equivalent ratio of pearl millet variety for straw yield and grain yield advantages were higher for LACRI-9702-IC + cowpea intercrop. From this study, the millet variety SOSAT-C-88 intercropped with cowpea variety Borno Brown is ideal for both staple grain and cash returns from the system in the Sudan Savanna of Nigeria.
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