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Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 191–203 | Cite as

Calliandra calothyrsus (Meissn.) in an alley cropping system with sequentially cropped maize and cowpea in southwestern Nigeria

  • M. P. Gichuru
  • B. T. Kang
Article

Abstract

Alley cropping is increasingly becoming accepted as an appropriate technology with the potential to provide stable and sustainable food production in the tropics. However, only a few of the potential trees/shrubs have been tested. The performance of Calliandra calothyrsus (Meissn) as an alley cropping species was evaluated on an Oxic Paleustalf. The treatments were: prunings removal, prunings application; and three N levels, 0,45, and 90 kg N ha−1, in a factorial arrangement. The cropping sequence was maize (main season) follwed by cowpea (minor season). Nitrogen fertilizer treatments were applied to the maize crop only. Four annual prunings of Calliandra hedgerows produced a total of 6 t ha−1 of dry matter prunings containing about 200 kg ha−1 of N. Maize yields were increased by the application of prunings but no benefits were obtained by supplementing the prunings with inorganic N. An average maize grain yield of 3.1 t ha−1 per year was maintained without any chemical fertilizer input. However, without any prunings, maize yields were substantially increased by the application of inorganic N. Cowpea yield did not respond to application of prunings but plants grown adjacent to the hedgerows had reduced yield probably due to shading. Our results suggest that six rows (0.57 m inter-row spacing) between Calliandra hedgerows spaced at 4 m are optimum for this cowpea variety. The performance of Calliandra was comparable to that of Leucaena which has been widely shown to be effective in alley cropping systems of the region.

Key words

Alley cropping biomass crop yield nutrient yield low input 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. P. Gichuru
    • 1
  • B. T. Kang
    • 1
  1. 1.International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, P.M.B.IbadanNigeria

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