Production potential, biological feasibility and economics of guinea grass (Stylosanthes hamata) intercropping systems under various fertility levels in rainfed conditions

S N Ram

Abstract


A field experiment was conducted during 2003–07on sandy loam soil to study the effect of row ratios and fertility levels on growth, persistence of legume, productivity, quality and monetary returns of guinea grass–Stylosanthes hamata (L.) Taub intercropping system under rainfed conditions. Intercropping of guinea grass with S. hamata in paired row gave significantly higher green forage (20.35 tonnes/ha), dry forage (5.01 tonnes/ha) and crude protein yields (438.8 kg/ha) compared with the sole stand of both grass and legume and alternate row and it was at par with 3:3 and 4:4 row ratios during all the four years. The dry matter yields of the recommended dose of fertilizer was reduced by 22.71% over 75% of recommended dose of fertilizer + 5 tonnes farmyard manure/ha. Persistence of S. hamata were higher (85.19, 74.72 and 69.78%) in its sole stand when compared to alternate row of grass legume intercropping (76.26, 56.38 and 45.37%) during all the three years. Intercropping of guinea grass with S. hamata in all the row ratios resulted in land equivalent ratio >1, indicating intercropping advantages. The maximum values of the relative crowding co-efficient was recorded in paired row of grass–legume intercropping, which indicated comparative yield advantage of this system over the other intercropping treatments. The maximum net returns (Rs 5 103/ha) as well as net returns/Re invested (0.72) were obtained in paired row of grass–legume intercropping. Among fertility levels, highest net returns (Rs 5 276/ ha) and net return/Re invested (0.55) were achieved with application of 75% of the recommended dose of fertilizer in combination with 5 tonnes farmyard manure/ha.


Keywords


Fertility levels; Intercropping systems; Panicum maximum; Productivity; Stylosanthes hamata

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