Full Length Research Paper
The objective of this study was to assess the effect of mix-cropping, Yangtsepa corn variety with legume Sesbania, and single cropping on the forage yield and quality at 60-, 90-, and 120-days harvest. Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications was used as an experimental design. The corn and pea were line sown at 20 cm apart with a seed ratio of 50:50. The results showed higher corn forage yield (26.1 t/ha), and dry matter of 23.83% at 120-day harvest. The overall mean crude protein at 60 and 90-day harvest was significantly higher in the mixed than single cropping. The soil moisture and nitrogen corn crude fiber dry matter and stem yield increased with an increase in harvesting days. Soil N2, corn DM, and ash were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in mixed cropping compared to single cropping in which the highest corn forage yield, corn DM, and soil N2 were found at a 120-day harvest in mixed cropping. There was significantly higher overall mean CP content in mixed cropping than single cropping at 60- and 90-day harvests (p < 0.05) with the highest corn CP of 9.05% at 90-day harvest. Similarly, weed biomass was significantly lower (p <.05) in mixed than in the single cropping which proved that Sesbania competed with weeds for basic needs like light and nutrients for growth and yield. Thus, legumes with corn can be a comparatively better choice to reduce weeds, and improve soil nutrients, forage yield, and quality.
Key words: Crude fiber, crude protein, dry matter, forage yield, mixed cropping.
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