The economics of using mixtures of a vegetable cowpea, Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis L., known locally as ‘Akidi’ (A) in Eastern Nigeria, melon (M) and sweet potato (S) Ipomea batatas for weed management in maize were evaluated between 2007 and 2009 in Taraba State, College of Agriculture Teaching and Research Farm, Jalingo, Treatments include 20,000(1), 30,000(2) and 40,000(3) stands/ha of AM (AM1, AM2, AM3), AS (AS1, AS2, AS3), MS (MS1, MS2, MS3) and AMS (AMS1, AMS2, AMS3). Weeded (3+6 WAP) (C1) and unweeded (C2) checks served as control replicated three times in a randomized complete block design. Partial budget analysis was used to obtain the level of profitability. The cost of production in all the mixtures having sweet potato was slightly higher (₦61,740 .00-₦67,340.00) than the AM treated plots (₦51,460.00-₦52,880.00) in the three year production. The gross benefit of ₦205,490.00, ₦199,920.00, ₦164,940.00 and ₦130,270.00 was realized respectively from MS, AS, AMS and AM treated plots compared with ₦154,980 in the hand weeded plots. Over the three years, the net benefit was in the order MS> AS> AMS > C1>AM , which resulted in 24.33, 23.22, 18.1, 17.57 and 13.67 times net profit when compared to the unweeded, respectively.
Key words: Profitability, biological weed management, maize, cover crop mixtures.
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