Influence of pendimethalin and hand weeding on mineral composition of maize, cowpea and their intercrop

Weed competition has been a major challenge limiting crop yield especially in intercropping systems. Information on the use of chemicals for weed control in intercropping systems appears scanty. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of pendimethalin (P) at 1 kg active ingredient/ha, and hand weeding (HW) on mineral contents of the harvested grains and effects of various weed control treatments in maize, cowpea, and their intercrop. Field experiments were carried out during the 2017 and 2018 rainy seasons. The field layout followed complete randomized block design with three replicates. There were eight treatments: Sole Maize/Cowpea + P, Sole Maize/Cowpea + P + 1HW at 3 weeks after sowing (WAS), Sole Maize/Cowpea + P+ 2HW at 3 and 6 weeks after sowing (WAS), Sole Maize/Cowpea weedy check, Intercrop + P, Intercrop + P + 1HW at 3WAS, Intercrop + P + 2HW at 3 and 6 WAS and Intercrop weedy check. It was observed that, P+1HW and P+2HW in both cropping systems have significant effects (p<0.05) and effectively control weed and increase the mineral contents in maize, cowpea, and their respective intercrop. The study revealed that, the mineral composition of maize and cowpea grains were improved by using pendimethalin with supplementary hand weeding. The study recommends that farmers should adopt intercropping maize with cowpea using pendimethalin plus one supplementary hand weeding at 3 WAS.

 Lawal Amudalat Ranti, Olayinka Bolaji Umar, Abdulra’uf Lukman Bola, Etejere Emmanuel Obukohwo