Growth and yield of millet and cowpea in relay and intercrop systems in the Sahelian zone in years when the onset of the rainy season is early uri icon

abstract

  • Field trials conducted previously in Niger have shown that in years when the onset of the rains is 15?20 days earlier than average, the long growing season can be exploited by growing a relay crop of millet (Pennisetum glaucum) and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). In the trials reported here, the advantages of relay cropping were compared with intercropping with improved management and intercropping under traditional management during the 1989, 1990 and 1991 rainy seasons at the ICRISAT Sahelian Center, Sadore, Niger. The length of the growing season varied from 139 to 150 days over the three seasons. The relay crop produced more dry matter and leaf area and yielded more than the intercrops in all three years, confirming that in years when the onset of the rains is early, relay cropping with millet and cowpea is a better option than growing the same two species as an intercrop. Relay cropping avoids the competitive effects inherent in intercropping systems, while offering the additional advantages of rotating cereals with legumes

publication date

  • 1993
  • 1993