Cowpea is regarded as one of the major source of dietary protein in many parts of Africa, but yield losses due to insect pests’ activities reduce available natural resources for human consumption. Field trials were conducted during the 2006 and 2007 cropping season at Mubi, Nigeria, to determine the effect of variety and intercropping on three major field insect pest of cowpea. The experimental treatments consist of two variety of cowpea via Kanannado white and Kanannado brown and intercrop of each variety of cowpea seed with sorghum arranged in a complete randomized block design. The population of aphids (Aphis craccivoraKoch.) and thrips (Megalarothrips sjostedi Trybom) were significantly (P>0.05) lower in cowpea + sorghum intercrop in 2006 and 2007 cropping season than sole cowpea crop. Similarly in 2007 cropping season population maruca pod borer (Maruca vitreta) was significantly (P>0.05) lower in cowpea + sorghum intercrop than sole cowpea crop but in 2006 cropping season, the reverse was the case. By and large, the result of the study shows that cowpea + sorghum intercrop reduces populations of major field pests of cowpea.
Key words: Intercropping, cowpea, aphids, thrips, maruca.
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