SOIL PROPERTIES AND RESPONSE OF BAMBARA-MAIZE INTERCROP AS INFLUENCED BY ORGANIC MULCH AND DIFFERENT TILLAGE SYSTEMS IN THE SOUTHERN GUINEA SAVANNA OF NIGERIA

Author(s): Nkiruka C. Odoh, Bolanle T. Olowookere, Stephen Andrew
Volume/Issue: Volume 1 , Issue 1 (2021)

ABSTRACT:

Legume–cereal cropping system is a sustainable soil building climate smart technology to continually explore in Africa. Yield response of bambara nuts-maize intercrop to tillage systems and organic mulch materials were assessed. The experiment was a Randomized Complete Block Design in a split plot arrangement with tillage systems as main plot and organic mulch as subplot. The treatments were replicated four times. The results of soil routine analysis showed that soil pH of ridged plots ranged from 5.6 for maize to 5.7 bambara nut while soil pH of the no-tilled plot was 5.3 for maize and 5.8 for bambara nut. In each case, sawdust mulching had the least pH values indicating increased acidity while Centrosema pubescens and rice husk had relatively higher pH. Soil organic matter content was high in most of the mulch treatments, and on tilled plots as a result of the incorporation of materials into the soil that enhanced mineralization and availability of organic matter. Yield of both crops were significantly different (p<0.05) across tillage systems and mulch treatments. A grain yield increase of 53.4% was recorded in bambara under tillage effect. Maize grain yield was highest under ridge plots (1450.16kg/ha) and least in no-till plots (856.39kg/ha).

KEYWORDS:

Organic mulch, Bambara-maize intercrop, Climate change adaptation, tillage
system, underutilize crop.