Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 323–333 | Cite as

Potential contribution of Leucaena hedgerows intercropped with maize to the production of organic nitrogen and fuelwood in the lowland tropics

  • Filemon Torres


Available information is applied to formulate quantitative hypotheses on the impact of intercropping Leucaena hedgerows with maize upon the physical productivity of grain and fuelwood. Data would indicate that productivity of organic nitrogen (N) by Leucaena hedgerows cut approximately every 8 weeks at a height of 15–30 cm and planted at a distance between rows wider than 150 cm is 45 g m−1 yr−1. When soil-N availability is the limiting factor, utilization of Leucaena-N by the maize crop appears to be negatively related to baseline maize production. The grain: Leucaena-N ratio declines from 20:1, when maize productivity is in the order of 500 kg ha−1, to 3:1, when the 4000 kg level is achieved. Hedgerow N productivity, N utilization by the maize crop, and proportion of land planted to maize were used to derive yield estimates per area of intercropped land under different intercropping arrangement. It seems that the impact of hedge intercropping on maize productivity, although substantial, would be limited to systems where existing production levels of maize are lower than 1500 kg ha−1. As expected, production per hectare decreases as spacing between Leucaena hedgerows increases. For a 1000 kg ha−1 baseline, hypothetical increments expressed as percentage of baseline production range from 112% to 28% for between-hedgerow spacings of 1.5 and 6 m respectively. Information analyzed would indicate apotential for Leucaena hedgerow intercropping to increase maize productivity. Research required to substantiate the formulated hypotheses is discussed.

Key words

hedge intercropping Leucaena organic nitrogen 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alferez, AC (1980) Utilization of leucaena as organic fertilizer to food crops. Second SEARCA Professional Lecture, 16/12Google Scholar
  2. Bouldin DR, Reid RS and Stangel PJ (1980) Nitrogen as a constraint to non-legume food crop production. In: Priorities for Alleviating Soil Related Constraints to Food Production in the Tropics. An International Rice Research Institute and Cornell University Publ. Los Banos, Philippines, pp 299–316Google Scholar
  3. Brewbaker JL and Hutton E Mark (1979) Leucaena, versatile tropical tree legume. In: GA Ritchie (ed). New Agricultural Crops. An AAAS Selected Symposium 38. Westview Press, Colorado, pp 207–259Google Scholar
  4. Brewbaker JL, Plucknett DL and Gonzales V (1972) Varietal variation and yield trial of Leucaena leucocephala (Koa Haole). Hawaii Agric Expt Station, Univ Hawaii Res Bull 166. 29 pGoogle Scholar
  5. de la Rosa JM (1980) A study on the growth and yield of corn intercropped with varying population of giant Ipil-Ipil (Leucaena leucocephala) on a hill-side — Anunpublished B. Sc. Thesis presented at the Visayas State College of Agriculture, Dept of Agronomy and Soils, Leyte, PhilippinesGoogle Scholar
  6. Earl DE (1975) Forest energy and economic development. Oxford University Press, London.Google Scholar
  7. Evensen CLI (1982) Synopsis of Leucaena/Maize Green Leaf Manuring Study. University of Hawaii, unpublished, 6 pGoogle Scholar
  8. Ferraris R (1979) Productivity of Leucaena leucocephala in the wet tropics of North Queensland. Tropical Grasslands vol 13 (1):20–27Google Scholar
  9. Guevarra AB (1976) Management of Leucaena leucocephala (LAM.) de Wit for maximum yield and nitrogen contribution to integrated corn. An unpublished PhD Thesis. University of Hawaii, 126 ppGoogle Scholar
  10. Guevarra AB, Whitney AS and Thompson JR(1978) Influence of intrarow spacing and cutting regimes on the growth and yield of leucaena. Agronomy Journal vol. 70: 1033–37Google Scholar
  11. Igbokwe MC (1980) Nitrogen requirement of corn in a newly cleared loamy sand soil at Uyo, Nigeria: the effect of N fertilizer and limiting materials. In: Roswall (ed) Nitrogen Cycling in West African Ecosystems. SCOPE/UNEP pp 275–283Google Scholar
  12. Kang BT, Sipkens L, Wilson GF and Nangju D (1981) Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala (LAM.) de Wit) prunings as nitrogen source for maize (Zea mays L.) Fertilizer Research 2:279–287Google Scholar
  13. Kang BT, Wilson GF and Sipkens L (1981) Alley cropping maize (Zea mays L.) and leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala LAM.) in Southern Nigeria. Plant and Soil 63:165–1979Google Scholar
  14. Melsted SW, Motto HL and Peck TR (1969) Critical Plant Nutrient Composition Values Useful in Interpreting Plant Analysis Data. Agronomy J 61:17–20Google Scholar
  15. Mendoza RC, Escano LR and Javier EQ (1981) Corn/leucaena intercropping trials. Leucaena Research Reports vol 2:42Google Scholar
  16. Mendoza RC and Javier EQ (1980a) Herbage yield determination from four recommended Ipil-Ipil (L. leucocephala) cultivars. Leucaena Newsletter vol 1:26Google Scholar
  17. Mendoza RC and Javier EQ (1980b) Wood yield potential of five Ipil-Ipil (L. leucocephala) cultivars as affected by different cutting ages and population densities. Leucaena Newsletter vol 1:27Google Scholar
  18. Morrison FB (1959) Feeds and Feeding. The Morrison Publishing Co, Clinton, Iowa. 1165 ppGoogle Scholar
  19. Oakes AJ and Skov O (1962) Some woody legumes as forage crops for the dry tropics. Tropical Agric, Trin, vol 39:281–287Google Scholar
  20. Osman AM (1981a) Leaf: stem ratio in leucaena. Leucaena Research Reports, vol 2: 35–36Google Scholar
  21. Osman AM (1981b) Effects of cutting interval on the relative dry matter production of four cultivars of leucaena. Leucaena Research Reports, vol 2:33–34Google Scholar
  22. Parr JF (1973) Chemical and Biochemical Considerations for Maximizing the Efficiency of Fertilizer Nitrogen. J Environ Quality, vol 2(1):75–84Google Scholar
  23. Partridge IJ and Ranacou E (1973) Yields of Leucaena leucocephala in Fiji. Tropical Grasslands, vol 7(3): 327–329Google Scholar
  24. PCARR (Philippine Council for Agriculture and Resources Research) and US-NAS (US-National Academy of Science), 1977 — International Consultation on Ipil-Ipil Research: Management and Utilization for Forage and Soil Amelioration, pp. 145–153. PCARRGoogle Scholar
  25. Takahashi M and Ripperton JC (1949) Koa Haole (Leucaena glauca), its establishment, culture and utilization as a forage crop. Bull 100, Univ of Hawaii Agric Expt St, Honolulu, 56 pGoogle Scholar
  26. Verinumbe I (1981) Economic evaluation of some zero-tillage systems of land management for small-scale farmers in South-Western Nigeria. A Ph.D. Thesis in the Deparrtment of Forest Resources Management. University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 288 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr. W. Junk Publishers 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Filemon Torres
    • 1
  1. 1.International Council for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF)NairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations