Field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of intercropping pattern in reducing weed infestation in okra, maize and pepper intercrop; at the teaching and research farm of Rivers State University of Science and Technology Port Harcourt, Nigeria during 2009 and 2010 cropping season. Three intercropping pattern namely; alternate row intercropping, strip row intercropping and mixed intercropping were compared to sole cropping in a randomized complete block design replicated three times. The result reveal that weed biomass were significantly lower in both years in all forms of intercropping pattern compared to sole cropping or mono-cropping. Weed smothering efficiency in both years showed that mixed pattern (45.7%) >alternate row pattern (33.4%) > strip row pattern (11.5%). Crop yield were better in an intercrop system for maize and pepper in both years compared to sole crop. However, mean okra fruit yield was highest in sole cropping (3253 kg ha-1) when compared to intercropping pattern. Maize yield was highest in mixed pattern (8,987 kg ha-1) and lowest in sole cropping (6,955 kg ha-1) while pepper fruit yield was highest in strip row pattern (5,435 kg ha-1) and lowest in mixed pattern (1,562 kg ha-1). The results from this study have shown that intercropping pattern has a great potential in reducing weed infestation in cropping systems especially in farming system with low external input. However, the effect of the intercrop pattern on yield may be variable, because viability may depend on the adaptation of planting pattern and selection of compatible crops.
Key words: Intercropping pattern, weed infestation, land equivalent ratio (LER).
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