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Response of Cowpea Cultivars to Planting Pattern and Date of Sowing in Intercrops with Pearl Millet in Niger

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 October 2008

Bonny R. Ntare
ICHISAT Sahelian Centre, BP 12404, Niamey, Niger
J. H. Williams
ICHISAT Sahelian Centre, BP 12404, Niamey, Niger


A two-year study was conducted at two locations in Niger to compare the response of five cowpea cultivars to two planting patterns and two sowing dates relative to the sowing date of pearl millet. All the cowpea cultivars took less time to mature when planted three weeks after millet than when sown one week after. Early-maturing cowpea cultivars had the smallest yield, whereas the yield of the local indeterminate cultivar was nearly double that of the other cultivars at both dates of sowing. Early planting of cowpea significantly depressed millet yield, but when cowpea was planted late millet yields approached those of the sole crop. The local cultivar depressed millet yields more than the other cowpea cultivars. Planting pattern had no significant effect on the yield of either cowpea or millet. Cowpea yield was reduced by more than 50% by two weeks delay in sowing, confirming that the sowing date of cowpea relative to millet is a critical factor in the Sahelian pearl millet/cowpea intercropping system. There were marked differences in the effect of cowpea cultivar on millet yield but these differences were consistent over sowing dates.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1992

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