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ISSN : 2456-8643

Title:
EFFECT OF COWPEA CROP RESIDUE MANAGEMENT ON SOIL MOISTURE CONTENT, CANOPY TEMPERATURE, GROWTH AND YIELD OF MAIZE - COWPEA INTERCROPS

Authors:
J. B. Ndiso ,G. N. Chemining wa , F. M. Olubayo and H. M. Saha ,Keniya

Abstract:
The major limitations to crop production in smallholder farms in Kenya are moisture stress and declining soil fertility. Incorporation of crop residues into the soil or their use as surface mulch has the potential of conserving moisture. A study was carried out at Pwani University and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)-Mtwapa in 2012 to determine the effect of cowpea crop residue management on soil moisture content, canopy temperature, growth and yield of maize and cowpea intercrop. The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD), with a factorial arrangement of treatments and replicated thrice. Data collected included: soil moisture content, canopy temperature, weed biomass, chlorophyll content, percent ground cover, leaf number, plant height, grain weight and grain yield of maize and cowpea. Cowpea root nodule number, numbers of pods per plant, number of grains per pod, maize ears per plant and stover yield were also determined. Data was analyzed using the general linear model (GLM) procedure for analysis of variance using SAS statistical package. Where the F values were significant, means were compared using the least significant difference (LSD) test, at p = 0.05. Application of crop residues (incorporated or mulched) increased soil moisture content and chlorophyll content, growth attributes, yield and yield components of cowpea and maize, but reduced canopy temperature and cowpea nodule number. The increase in cowpea and maize grain yield in Kilifi due to incorporation of crop residues into the soil was 111.1% and 440.5%, respectively. Crop residue incorporation outperformed surface mulching in most plant attributes.

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