Maize and Weed Response to Legume Cover Short Fallow and Fertilizer in Port Harcourt South Eastern Nigeria

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E. N. Nzeako
U. E. Udensi
S. Omovbude
J. A. Orluchukwu

Abstract

Field experiment was conducted in Faculty of Agriculture Teaching and Research Farm University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, South Eastern Region of Nigeria between March and September 2017; to evaluate the effect of planted short fallow legume cover crop on maize performance and weed growth. The experimental design was a 5 x 2 factorial in randomized complete block design (RCBD) in a plot size of 4 m x 4 m with four replicates. The treatments consisted of four different legumes cover species fallow and a natural fallow as follows: Mucuna [Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC var. utilis), Lablab (Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet), Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Mill spp)], Centrosema (Centrosema pascuorum (L.) and a natural fallow (No Legume Cover) and two levels of inorganic fertilizer as NPK 15: 15: 15 (0 and 15 Kg ha-1 NPK). All legume cover growth characteristics were negatively correlated with weed cover and weed dry weight (r = -0.58 and r = -0.59 at P=0.0001). Legume dry weight had a positive correlation with all maize parameter (r =0.64 at P=0.0001) except for stem diameter (r = -0.43 at P=0.0051). Similarly, all weed attributes were negatively correlated to maize parameters. Maize height was better in plots that received short fallow legumes than natural fallow. There was increase in soil Nitrogen level after 10 weeks of fallow. Legume cover crop short fallow has the potentials for weed suppression, soil fertility and productivity improvement in maize culture.

Keywords:
legume species, fallow, weed and NPK.

Article Details

How to Cite
Nzeako, E. N., Udensi, U. E., Omovbude, S., & Orluchukwu, J. A. (2019). Maize and Weed Response to Legume Cover Short Fallow and Fertilizer in Port Harcourt South Eastern Nigeria. Journal of Applied Life Sciences International, 20(2), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.9734/jalsi/2019/v20i230078
Section
Original Research Article