Tillage And Relay Intercropping Effect On Yield And Yield Components Of Upland Rice

Mutembei MM, Gachene CKK Chemining’wa GN and Karuma AN


Full Length Research Paper  I Published July,2017


Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Technology  Vol. 3 (4), pp.64-77





Rice remains a major staple food crop for almost half of the world’s population. It is the third most important cereal in Kenya after maize and wheat and its demand continues to grow. A study was conducted to establish the yield response of upland rice (NERICA 1) to tillage and relay intercropping in vertisols of Mwea, Kenya. Three tillage methods; hand hoe (HH), broad bed (BB) and zero tillage (ZT); and five cropping systems; rice sole crop (RSC), chickpea sown same time with rice crop (CPST), chickpea relayed two weeks after sowing of the rice crop (CPR2), chickpea relayed four weeks after sowing of the rice crop (CPR4) and chickpea relayed six weeks after sowing of the rice crop (CPR6) were tested. The experiment was laid out in split-plot design with 3 replications. The results indicate performance advantage in intercropped rice compared to its sole crop. Intercropping resulted in greater number of panicles per m2, heavier grains (1000 grain weight) and increased above ground biomass yield especially when chickpea was relayed 2 to 4 weeks after sowing rice. Tillage by cropping system interaction was highly significant (p<0.01) for grain weight in season II. The heaviest grains (26 g/1000seeds) were recorded in CPR6 under BB tillage. However there were yield variations in all seasons across cropping systems. This study therefore establishes that chickpea can be relay intercropped in upland rice at least 2 to 4 weeks after sowing the rice crop without significant effect on rice performance.

Key Words: Cropping systems, NERICA and Vertisols

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