IJSRP, Volume 5, Issue 9, September 2015 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
M. Usman, M.G. Nangere And I. Musa
Field experiments were conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm, University of Agriculture, Makurdi to determine the effect of three levels of NPK fertilizer on growth parameters and yield of maize-soybean intercrop. The experimental design consisted of two factors: cropping system at two levels (sole and intercrops) and NPK fertilizer at three levels (0, 150 and 300 kg/ha of NPK 20:10:10). The treatments were laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in a split plot arrangement and replicated three times. The cropping systems were assigned to the main plots while the fertilizer levels were in the sub plots. A composite soil sample was obtained from a plough layer (0-15 cm) at the beginning and at the end of the experiment and analyzed for particle size distribution, pH, organic carbon, total nitrogen, available phosphorus and exchangeable cations [Mg2+, Ca2+, Na+ and K+] as well as cation exchange capacity (CEC). Data collected for the yield and growth parameters of maize and soybean were subjected to the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) after which significant means were separated using Least Significant Difference (LSD) at p<0.05. From the results, application of fertilizer significantly (p<0.05) increased the growth parameters and yield of the component crops in both seasons. Increasing the quantity of NPK fertilizer resulted in significant increase in the yield and growth parameters of maize and soybean in both years. Intercropping resulted in yield advantage in 2013 and 2014 showing 35 % and 26 % land saved respectively. Also, from the results and productivity advantage obtained from the intercropping, the effect of different rates of NPK fertilizer on the growth and yield of maize and soybean intercrop deserve further investigation using higher fertilizer rates.