Maize-bean intercrop response to nutrient application relative to maize sole crop response

Maize-bean intercrop response to nutrient application relative to maize sole crop response Maize-bean intercropping is important in sub-Saharan Africa. Maize sole crop (MSC) nutrient response has been much studied but data is scarce for determination of intercrop functions. A procedure for adapting MSC functions for the maize-bean intercrop was developed. Maize sole crop and intercrop responses were near parallel with notable exceptions for P in high potential areas for maize and for K. Mean intercrop bean yield with no nutrient application was about 0.4 Mg ha−1 and increased on average by 24, 11 and −3% with N, P and K application, respectively. Response function coefficients for MSC adjusted with the ratio of bean to maize grain value as the dependent variable accounted for nearly all variation in intercrop response coefficients providing the basis for determining intercrop response functions from MSC functions. Maize grain yield equivalent was less with MSC compared with intercrop; exceptions were for response to N in high potential areas and for bean to maize value ratios of two or less. The economically optimal rate of N and P were on average about 15% more but less for K with intercrop compared with MSC but with inconsistency. The economically optimal rate ranged widely with variation in the cost of nutrient use relative to grain value but generally without great effect on yield; an exception was a great effect on MSC yield response to N for high potential areas. Intercrop nutrient response functions can be reliably determined once maize sole crop functions are determined for a recommendation domain. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems Springer Journals

Maize-bean intercrop response to nutrient application relative to maize sole crop response

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Springer Netherlands
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Life Sciences; Agriculture
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