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Effects of intercropping castor with corn and beans on growth, yield and oil content

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https://www.eduzhai.net International Journal of Plant Research 2013, 3(4): 52-62 DOI: 10.5923/j.plant.20130304.02 Effect of Intercropping Castor with Maize and Beans on Growth, Yield and Seed Oil Content Charles Obiero1,*, Rhoda Birech1, Joyce Maling’a2, Bernhard Freyer3 1Egerton University ; Crops Horticulture and Soil Sciences Department, P. O. Box 536-20115, Egerton, Kenya 2Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI-Kakamega), P. O. Box Private Bag, Kakamega, Kenya 3University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Division of Organic Farming, Gregor M endel Straße 33, 1180 Vienna, Austria Abstract In Kenya, smallholder farmers have been observed growing castor with maize and beans under an intercropping system amidst little knowledge that such a system could have on the performance of these crops. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of intercropping castor with maize and beans on growth, yield and seed oil content. A 3 × 3 × 2 factorial experiment in randomized co mplete block design with three levels of crops, three levels of cropping system and two levels of spacing was laid-out at Egerton Un iversity farm fo r three seasons in 2010 to 2012. Results at P =.0001 level of significance indicated high seed yield for castor monocrops in the range of 2.0 - 3.0 tons seeds ha-1 yr-1; while an intercrop of castor at (1.5 m × 1.0 m) with beans at (0.5 m × 0.2 m) spacing showed best cropping mixtures recording yields ranging fro m 2.15 - 2.43 and 0.3 - 0.83 tons seeds ha-1 yr-1 for castor and beans respectively. In contrast, castor-maize intercrop recorded low maize grain yield ranging fro m 0.0 – 0.25 tons ha-1 yr-1. Furthermore, castor-beans intercrop had high MAI, IA (962.27) values with LER of 2.34; co mpared to castor-maize intercrop wh ich recorded negative and low MAI, IA (15.99 – 19.23) and LER (0.98) values. Moreover, intercropping had no significant effect on the seed oil content of castor. It was concluded that castor could be intercropped productively with beans without affect ing food crop production and the resultant seed oil content of castor. Keywords Castor, Biodiesel, Intercropping, Oil Content, Oil Quality, Seed Yield 1. Introduction Castor (Ricinus communis L.) is a non edible oil crop fro m the spurge family currently grown for its biodiesel properties. The oil is the most important product of this crop and has been reported to have several industrial applications ranging from aviation, lubricant, and biofuel to med icine. Presently, castor is studied as a potential biodiesel crop with reports indicating its seed yield in the range of 1.2 to 1.8 tons ha-1 yr-1[1,2]. Co mpared to other biodiesel plants, castor has been described as a high yielding b iodiesel oil crop yielding up 3 tons ha-1 yr-1 with seed oil content of between 36.6 – 53.85% while croton and jatropha have been reported to yield up to 3.6 tons seeds ha-1 yr-1 with seed oil content of 30 - 32% contributing to about 1.2 tons oil ha-1 yr-1 for croton and 0.404 t oil ha-1 yr-1 with seed oil content of 35 - 40% for jatropha. In mit igating the current problems of food and energy crises, viable research is currently targeting non food crop biodiesel on-farm production. This development has seen * Corresponding author: otycha@gmail.com (Charles Obiero) Published online at https://www.eduzhai.net Copyright © 2013 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved most countries all over the world integrating biodiesel on-farm production technologies with food crops; with smallholder farmers being targeted for this technology. However, under these circumstances, the biodiesel on-farm production strategies should not take out of production the cereal-legu me based intercropping system whose contribution to smallholder farmers food bucket has been found exemp lary[3,4]. As such several on-farm experiments have targeted integrating castor with important food, pasture or fodder crops. For instance, in India, castor has been grown successfully with crops such as cluster bean, pigeon pea, Indian bean, cucu mber, Calliandra, cassia, chick pea, finger millet with the objective of increasing the productivity of the land and provision of food and fodder[5]. In Kenya, low priority research had been placed on castor[6]. However, with the intensive campaigns aimed at promoting on-farm biod iesel production and with the resultant rigorous production of castor by the smallholder farmers within an intercropping system, it was worth investigating the possible effect of such a cropping system on growth, yield and oil content. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of intercropping castor with maize and beans on growth, yield and seed oil content. It was hypothesized that intercropping castor with maize and beans had no significant effect on growth, y ield and seed oil International Journal of Plant Research 2013, 3(4): 52-62 53 content of castor. 2.4.1. Aggresivity (A) 2. Materials and Methods 2.1. Site Descripti on Egerton Un iversity farm is at an elevation of 2238 m above sea level and located on latitude 0°23´S and longitude 35°56´E. It receives an average rainfall o f 1012 mm annually with 60% reliab ility of 908 mm. The site has a mean temperature o f 14.7℃ with minimu m and maximu m temperatures of 8.5℃ of 21.0℃ respectively. The area is under the Agro-ecological zone of LH3 which is described as wheat and barley zone. The soils are well d rained, silty clay to clay with humic top soil (Mollic Andosols) with pH of 5.5 - 6.5[7]. 2.2. Treatment Description A 3 × 3 × 2 factorial experiment consisting of three levels of crops (castor, maize and beans), three levels cropping systems (sole cropping for all crops, intercrop co mbinations of castor-beans, castor-maize and maize-beans; and castor-maize-beans intercrop combination); and two levels of spacing for each crop i.e. high and low levels, for “lo w” level of spacing 1.5 m × 1.0 m, 0.5 m × 2.0 m and 0.75 m × 0.3 m while 1.8 m × 1.0 m, 0.6 m × 0.2 m and 0.9 m × 0.3 m were used as the “high” spacing for castor, beans and maize respectively. The experiment was laid in a randomized co mplete block design (RCBD) replicated three times in plots of 9 m × 4 m for three seasons beginning May, 2010 to December, 2012. 2.3. Cul tural Practices The experimental field received an init ial disc plough followed by a d isc harrow and manual raking and removal of the grass. Castor seedlings were t ransplanted from the nursery at a height of 0.15 m in May, 2010. Maize and beans were then sown in 2011 and 2012 into already established castor plants at two seeds per hole which were later thinned to one seedling per hill at 14 DAS (days after sowing). DAP (18.46.0) (Di-ammoniu m phosphate) fertilizer was used during planting at the beginning of each season to supply nitrogen and phosphorus at the rate of 33 kg N ha-1 and 42.2 kg P2O5 ha-1 respectively. Calciu m ammon iu m nitrate (26% N) fertilizer at the rate of 188 kg ha-1 for each season was used to top dress maize at knee high. Two manual weeding was done at 21 and 45 DAS. Data on plant height, stomatal conductance, leaf chlorophyll content and leaf area was determined at 21, 42, 63 and 84 DAS. Harvesting and threshing were done manually and hundred mean seed weight determined through an electronic weigh balance (Stanton®). The oil fro m castor seeds was extracted using Soxhlet extractor procedure as outline by Jumat[8]. 2.4. Competiti ve Ratios Aggresivity was calculated as: A cropA = (YA i/ YAs x ZAp) – (YBi/ YBs x ZBp), and A cropB = (YBi/ YBs x ZBp) – (YA i/ YAs x ZAP). Where: YA i = yield of crop A under intercropping; YAs = y ield of crop A under sole cropping; YBi = y ield of crop B under intercropping; YBs = y ield of crop B under sole cropping; ZAp and ZBp are proportions of crop B and C in the mixture respectively. If A of c rop A= 0, both crops are equally co mpetitive, if A crop A = positive then crop A is dominant and if A of crop A = negative then crop A is weak. 2.4.2. Co mpetit ive Ratio (CR) Co mpetitive ratio was arrived at as follows: CRcropA = (LER cropA/LERcropB) (ZBp/ZAp) wh ile CR crop B = (LER cropB/ LER cropA) (ZAp/ZBp ). Where: LER crop A = YA i ÷ YAs; YA i is intercrop yield of Crop A; YAs is sole crop yield o f crop A; LER crop B = YBi ÷ YBs; YBi is intercrop yield of Crop B; YBs is sole crop yield of crop B. ZAp and ZBp are proportions of crop B and C in the mixture respectively: A higher CR value of crop A indicates that crop A is highly competitive in resource acquisition and utilization over other crops growing in association. 2.4.3. Actual Yield Loss (AYL) Actual yield loss was calculated as follows: AYL = A YLcropA + A YLcrop B + A YLcropc, where AYLcropA = ((YA i / ZA) / (YAs / ZB)) - 1, Where: YA i and YAs are intercrop and sole crop y ields of cropA while ZA and ZB are the relative proportions of cropA and cropB within an intercropping system. A YL values may be positive or negative indicating an advantage or disadvantage remained in intercrops when the main is to compare on a per plant basis. 2.4.4. Intercropping Advantage (IA) The following formu la was used to arrive at the IA: IA cropA = AYLcropA × P cropA, and IA cropB = AYLcropB × P cropB, where; P cropA and P cropB are the commercial values of cropA and cropB. The commercial value for beans and maize by January 31st 2012 was KES 5000 and 3000 fo r 90 kg bag for maize and beans respectively while by January 31st 2013 prices were KES 5400 and KES 2600 for 90 kg bag of beans and maize respectively. As for castor the commercial value for the processed oil traded at KES 95 L-1 with 2.5 kg seed yielding 1 liter oil. 2.4.5. Land Equivalent Ratio (LER) Land equivalent ratio was calculated as follows: LER = (LERcropA + LERcropB + LERcrop C), where; LER crop A = YA i ÷ YAs; YAi is intercrop yield of Crop A; YAs is sole crop yield of crop A. If LER ≥ 1 meant that intercropping was more beneficial than sole cropping; LER 54 Charles Obiero et al.: Effect of Intercropping Castor with M aize and Beans on Growth, Yield and Seed Oil Content ≤ 1 meant sole cropping was more productive wh ile LER ═ 1 meant no significant difference in either intercropping or sole cropping. 2.4.6. Monetary Advantage Index (MAI) MAI was arrived at as follo ws: MAI = (value of co mb ined intercrops) × (LER-1) / LER 2.5. Data Analysis mid April, however, prolonged rains that persisted until September caused some losses in beans. The reduction in amb ient temperature recorded during the critical growing period of these crops accounted for the slow growth witnessed especially in maize. However, castor remained significantly unaffected by these factors. The crop shaded most of its leaves during the dry spells of January to March with the resumption of an active growth and nut production during the subsequent rainy season. The data was subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) by SAS/STAT in release 9.2 for windows and means separated through Duncan’s Multiple Range Test (DM RT). 3. Results and Discussion 3.1. Rainfall (mm) and Temperature (℃) The monthly means of the average air temperature during the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012 – 13 gro wing seasons were not significantly different with an average daily temperature recorded at 200C for all seasons (Table 1). However, the annual total rainfall fo r the first and the third seasons were significantly different fro m those of the second season (1642.6 mm and 1555.8 vs. 1280.3 mm) whereas all seasons recorded rainfall above the 20-year average. On the other hand during the long season - considered as the most important period of growth for crops within this region (April – October); the first and the third seasons recorded more rainfall co mpared to the second season and pronounced various effects on seasonal crop interaction as discussed further on. Th is information on rainfall and temperature is imperatively impo rtant when considering timely p lanting and choice of adapted cultivars. Time of planting which generally corresponds to the onset of the rains especially under rainfed agricultural has been found to significantly influence crop yield[9]. Hence is it worth to note that within this region planting should be done around 3.2. Plant Height (m) Intercropping castor with maize and beans at the different levels of spacing had no significant (P = .0001) effect on the plant height of castor and beans (Table 2). A general expectation would have been an increase in the plant height of beans as a result of crowd ing and competition of light but this result did not conform to such an expectation, probably because the bean population at which inter-specific competition for light becomes limiting may not have been reached and also the growth habits for the three crop species were d ifferent. These results further indicated that castor increased in height and branches as the crop approached old age. However, maize experienced significant (P = .0001) height reduction (60.0%) at all levels of castor with maize or castor with maize and beans combinations in season one as a contribution fro m the maximu m crowding fro m castor which inhabited the maize crop fro m accessing the light. In contrast, castor-based planting pattern did not have any significant effect on the height of maize within the second season as a result of the reduced shading effect fro m the three-year castor plants. Earlier experiments done on cowpea – cassava intercrop indicated that there was no significant effect of the cowpea (legume) planting density or intercropping on the cassava plant height[10]. Results of which may conform to the findings on beans. Rwamugira [11], however, ind icated that intercropping increased plant height in maize when intercropped with pigeon pea. Table 1. Mean monthly temperature (℃) and rainfall (mm) for 2010 – 2011 and the 20 year average (1993 – 2012) Month Av. T emp Rainfall (℃) (mm) 2010 - 2011 Av. T emp (℃) Rainfall (mm) 2011 - 2012 Av. T emp Rainfall (℃) (mm) 2012 - 2013 Av. T emp Rainfall (℃) (mm) 20 year average Jan Feb March April May June July August Sept Oct Nov Dec Tot al 20.10 21.00 19.90 20.70 20.10 19.20 18.20 19.00 19.50 19.90 19.40 20.70 - 47.30 167.20 285.80 126.90 202.80 86.20 202.60 192.10 106.60 116.70 90.30 18.10 1642.6 21.20 22.30 21.40 21.00 20.50 19.30 19.10 18.20 18.60 19.80 19.00 19.30 - 3.30 9.60 182.30 20.90 116.00 216.50 130.10 130.00 149.30 89.20 146.70 86.40 1280.3 21.10 21.30 22.50 20.00 19.70 18.70 17.60 18.70 19.40 20.00 19.70 19.30 - 0.00 16.30 31.60 387.00 181.80 166.20 87.20 220.30 192.40 94.30 26.60 152.10 1555.8 20.55 21.49 21.43 20.30 19.96 18.93 17.94 18.32 19.74 19.69 19.13 19.67 - 40.90 43.70 80.47 113.41 118.96 98.97 100.88 122.93 76.56 88.11 98.97 62.77 1046.6 1 Climatic data from Egerton University weather station number 9035092 on Lat 00 23'S and Long 35o 55'E International Journal of Plant Research 2013, 3(4): 52-62 55 Table 2. Effect of different plant ing patt erns on plant height and stomat al conduct ance P lant in g p att ern s Castor S1 S2 Plant height (m) Beans S1 S2 Maize S1 S2 Stomatal conductance (mmol m-2 s-1) Castor Beans Maize S1 S2 S1 S2 S1 S2 Planting pattern 1 (Monocropping) CL 3.64a 4.17b . . . . 91.6a 129.7b . . . . CH 3.40a 4.28b . . . . 102.4a 118.5b . . . . ML . . . . 0.95c 1.01c . . . . 56.6de 74.3bc MH . . . . 1.26c 1.06c . . . . 37.1de 63.7d BL . . 0.22f 0.40e . . . . 52.6de 77.7bc . . BH . . 0.23f 0.40e . . . . 53.5de 76.1bc . . Planting pattern 2 (Intercropping) BLML . . 0.26f 0.42e 1.37c 1.07c . . 44.8de 84.4bc 57.4de 81.1bc BHMH . . 0.25f 0.40e 1.14c 1.03c . . 69.4d 87.5bc 86.1bc 81.8bc BLMH . . 0.23f 0.37e 0.87c 1.00c . . 63.0d 78.5bc 64.7d 86.5bc BHML . . 0.22f 0.41e 0.99c 1.06c . . 61.4d 82.2bc 55.0de 70.9bc CLBL 3.37a 4.0b 0.28f 0.43e . . 102.4a 115.8b 69.8d 119.9b . . CLBH 3.30a 4.06b 0.25f 0.39e . . 108.6a 129.3b 64.8d 146.0b . . CHBL 3.44a 4.13b 0.26f 0.37e . . 91.1a 103.7b 76.8bc 95.6b . . CHBH 3.31a 4.05b 0.26f 0.41e . . 97.8a 142.5b 69.6d 110.1b . . CLML 3.63a 3.96b . . 0.38d 1.02c 87.0a 112.7b . . 42.1de 65.3d CLMH 3.50a 3.97b . . 0.39d 95.6c 89.9a 119.7b . . 52.3de 94.8b CHML 3.34a 4.24b . . 0.56d 0.99c 93.6a 108.1b . . 67.2d 77.4bc CHMH 3.34a 4.21b . . 0.35d 1.05c 89.0a 121.1b . . 46.3de 71.3bc Planting pattern 3 (Intercropping) CLBLML 3.53a 3.97b 0.24f 0.37e 0.38d 0.98c 77.1a 97.2b 54.3de 90.9b 48.1de 62.2d CLBHMH 3.29a 4.17b 0.21f 0.44e 0.39d 1.07c 94.4a 102b 54.5de 119.8b 51.0de 105.0b CHBLML 3.37a 4.09b 0.22f 0.39e 0.29d 1.00c 84.4a 160.7b 55.7de 150.2b 45.1de 83.0bc CHBHMH 3.41a 3.95b 0.23f 0.37e 0.35d 0.99c 107.0a 122.7b 52.1de 121.1b 45.4de 81.2bc CLBLMH 3.50a 4.19b 0.24f 0.37e 0.40d 0.87c 82.1a 75.0a 54.6de 75.6bc 54.0de 65.3d CLBHML 3.52a 4.20b 0.19f 0.43e 0.40d 1.06c 85.9a 79.0a 53.2de 98.5b 44.3de 69.9d Means with the same letters within same column are not significantly different at P =.0001 CL = Castor at 1.5 m × 1.0 m (L) spacing; CH = Castor at 1.8 m × 1.0 m (H) spacing; BL = Beans at 0.5 m × 0.2 m (L) spacing; BH = Beans at 0.6 m × 0.2 m (H) spacing; ML = Maize at 0.75 m × 0.3 (L) spacing; MH = Maize at 0.9 m × 0.3 m (H) spacing; CL, CH, BL, BH, ML and MH = Monocrops of castor, beans and maize at different spacing while; CLBL, CLML, BLML, CHBHMH e.t.c = Intercrops of castor-beans, castor-maize, beans-maize and castor-beans -maize at different spacing respectively 3.3. Stomatal Conductance (mmol m-2 s-1) Leaf stomatal conductance (Table 2) was shown to be unique for seasons, treatments and crops at 0.01% level of significance. The second season was shown to record high mean stomatal conductance (97.8, α = 0.05) co mpared to (68.7, α = 0.05). Fu rthermore, an intercrop of castor at 1.5 m × 1 m with beans at 0.6 m × 0.2 m as having high values for stomatal conductance at the range of 108.6 – 111.1 and 65 – 70 mmol m-2 s-1 for castor and beans respectively. However, maize at all planting patterns showed low levels of stomatal conductance in the range of 37 – 50 mmol m-2 s-1 with the lowest levels, recorded fo r the castor, maize and beans planting patterns although not significantly different fro m all other planting patterns. Miko[12] noted that high stomatal conductance could be somehow advantageous in allo wing a faster induction and higher carbon gain during sun flecks or under strong canopies thereby maintaining a higher quantum yield because of the greater intercellular partial pressures of CO2; findings which could explain the general the performance of the beans planted under castor which had no significant differences fro m the 56 Charles Obiero et al.: Effect of Intercropping Castor with M aize and Beans on Growth, Yield and Seed Oil Content corresponding monocrops. 3.4. Aggresivity (A), Competiti ve Ratio (CR) and Actual Yiel d Loss (AYL) systems in the first season. However, in the second season intercropping only favoured the maize crop with castor and beans recording positive but low IA values. At all p lanting patterns beans had high aggresivity values than either castor or maize indicating that the beans were the dominant crop species (Table 3). Ho wever, maize showed significant dominance over castor in the second season while castor only do minating over maize first season. Positive values for maize have been reported in earlier experiments, for instance, Yilmaz[13] reported maize as the dominant crop specie within a maize-cowpea-bean intercrop, results which were later supported by Takim[14]. These reports however do not concur with the find ings of this research. It is worth noting that, while[13] and[14] had varied the proportions of the intercrops in each case, in these research two standard levels of p lant density were used for each crop species and therefore, plant densities, per say, were not significant. In another experiment, Mohammadi[15] reported dominance of cotton under cotton-sorghum-cowpea intercrop; however, this do minance was attributed to the late harvesting of cowpea than s o rg hu m. In terms of co mpetitive ratio, castor was highly competitive than either maize or beans especially in the first season. In contrast maize was the most competitive of the three crops in the second season. Yilmaz[13] and Takim [14], however, showed maize as the most competitive in maize-co wpea-bean, and maize-co wpea intercrops respectively. Finally, at all planting patters castor recorded positive but high actual yield loss values than either maize or beans at all cropping seasons. These results also showed maize as record ing high but positive A YL values than beans, however, AYL results for beans were high than those of maize in the first season under the planting pattern 2; findings which indicated the intercropping yield advantages of castor, maize and beans respectively. The findings concur with those made by earlier researchers that reported high but positive AYL results for intercropped maize with either cowpea or beans. These reports also indicated that the beans had low A YL values as compared to cowpeas hence crop specific characters may be contributory to its performance in terms of these competitive indices. 3.5. Intercropping Advantage (IA) Intercropping advantage (IA) which is an indicator of the economic feasibility of intercropping systems affirmed that the most advantageous cropping combination was the castor-beans mixtu re under season one (1) at spacing’s of 1.5 m × 1.0 m and 0.5 m × 0.2 m for castor and beans respectively recording IA values of 962.27 against all planting patterns (Table 4). In contrast, castor and maize cropping mixture at any spacing gave the poorest IA values ranging fro m 15.99 – 19.23. Furthermore, results showed that beans was more advantageous under castor intercrop while maize was favoured under maize -beans cropping 3.6. Mean Seed Weight (gm) A hundred seed mean weight analysed indicated unique differences (P = .0001) in the productivity of the different planting patterns (Table 5). The different planting patterns recorded significant effect on the seed mean weight of maize (in the first season) with no seeds weight (0 g m) reported for the maize crop under castor-maize-beans intercrop wh ile castor-maize recorded 12.6 – 18.6 g m compared to 28 – 32 g m and 26 – 28 g m for maize-beans and maize sole crop respectively. In general, maize had high performance under maize-bean intercrop and worst in either castor-maize o r castor-maize-beans intercrop. In contrast, the different planting patterns had no significant effect on the mean seed weight of castor and beans which recorded figures ranging fro m 37.0 – 56.6 g m and 51.6 – 60.9 g m for castor and beans respectively 3.7. Seed Yiel d (ton ha-1) An intercrop of castor at 1.5 m × 1 m with beans at (0.5 m × 0.2 m) showed the best cropping system recording seed yields ranging fro m 2.15 - 2.43 tons seeds ha-1 yr-1 and 0.616 - 0.760 tons seeds ha-1 yr-1 for castor and beans respectively (Table 6). This concurs with earlier research assertions that castor and legumes provide best intercrop combination. Sharath[16] also reported higher castor seed yield when intercropped with legu mes compared to non leguminous crops. He noted that the high yield of castor could have resulted fro m the translocation of bio logically fixed nitrogen by the legumes towards the roots of castor; sentiments which had been noted earlier by[17] and[18]. Furthermore, higher castor equivalent yield has been reported under paired ro w intercropping system with cluster bean; which had increased productivity and net profit, results which supported earlier findings[19]. Castor had, however, showed similar performance across all the treatments; with castor monocrops at 1.5 m × 1.0 m and 1.8 m × 1.0 m giving seed yields in the range of 1.85 – 3.5 tons ha-1 yr-1. Moreover, these results showed that individual crop yields were significantly different, with castor recording higher seed yield co mpared to either maize or beans. However, an intercrop of castor with maize showed significantly low seed yields in maize ranging fro m 0 – 0.25 tons seeds ha-1 yr-1 especially in the first season. This could have been as a result of the stiff co mpetit ion for sunlight experienced by the maize crop sown under a strong castor canopy. In contrast, the second season recorded up to 3.48 tons seeds ha-1 yr-1 for maize due to the significantly reduced shading fro m castor. These findings correspond to those made earlier with reports indicating higher seed yield of castor under intercropping with legumes as compared to non legumes[20]. Table 3. Aggresivity (A), competitive ratio (CR) and actual yield loss (AYL) for the various planting patterns of castor, maize and beans International Journal of Plant Research 2013, 3(4): 52-62 P lant in g P attern s CL CH ML MH BL BH BLML BHMH BLMH BHML CLBL CLBH CHBL CHBH CLML CLMH CHML CHMH CLBLML CLBHMH CHBLML CHBHMH CLBLMH CLBHML Mean LSD (0.05) Castor - -92.05 -66.24 -46.85 -79.40 15.73 14.01 5.70 6.89 -46.90 -35.26 -48.14 -51.84 -84.44 -51.86 -40.05 0.000 2011 Beans Aggresivity (A) Maize Castor - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 40.01 69.72 50.85 39.95 92.05 66.24 46.85 79.40 - -40.01 -69.72 -50.85 -39.95 -15.73 -14.01 -5.70 -6.89 -175.60 -60.11 -115.41 -84.75 -36.03 -47.38 -38.33 -43.22 46.90 35.26 48.14 51.84 84.44 51.86 57.39 0.000 -46.90 -35.26 -48.14 -51.84 -84.44 -51.86 -40.09 0.000 -193.72 -61.00 -119.97 -64.81 -129.30 -53.19 -87.34 0.000 2012 Beans - 106.22 42.78 122.90 66.43 175.60 60.11 115.41 84.75 - 158.90 28.22 78.74 17.66 98.70 14.55 83.64 0.615 Maize - -106.22 -42.78 -122.90 -66.43 36.03 47.38 38.33 43.22 -161.87 -30.55 -83.51 -21.87 -109.57 -25.95 -43.33 0.000 Competitive ratio (CR) 2011 2012 Castor Beans Maize Castor Beans Planting pattern 1 (Monocropping) 1.00 - - 1.00 - 1.00 - - 1.00 - - - 1.00 - - - - 1.00 - - - 1.00 - - 1.00 - 1.00 - - 1.00 Planting pattern 2 (Intercropping) - -0.03 0.03 - - -0.04 0.02 - -0.08 -0.04 - -0.02 0.02 - -0.07 - -0.03 0.04 - -0.08 0.01 -0.01 - 0.00 -0.05 0.02 -0.01 - 0.01 -0.02 0.02 -0.01 - 0.01 -0.02 0.01 -0.01 - 0.01 -0.01 0.00 - 0.00 0.01 - 0.40 - 0.00 0.01 - 0.19 - 0.00 0.01 - 0.20 - 0.00 0.01 - Planting pattern 3 (Intercropping) 0.02 -0.02 0.00 0.00 -0.09 0.02 -0.02 0.00 0.00 -0.03 0.02 -0.02 0.00 0.00 -0.03 0.02 -0.02 0.00 0.00 -0.02 0.01 -0.02 0.00 0.01 -0.03 0.02 -0.03 0.00 0.01 -0.02 0.18 0.11 0.13 0.13 0.09 0.861 0.302 0.434 0.426 0.229 Maize 1.00 1.00 - 0.01 0.02 0.01 0.01 -0.01 -0.02 -0.01 -0.01 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.02 0.00 0.01 0.13 0.412 Castor - 17.99 14.44 17.65 16.87 8.10 6.63 9.13 6.94 32.44 19.73 32.49 28.51 28.62 24.54 18.86 0.99 Actual yield loss (AYL) 2011 2012 Beans Maize Castor Beans - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.45 2.14 - 0.82 0.63 1.98 - 0.40 0.39 2.62 - 0.70 0.79 2.96 - 0.71 16.55 - 6.93 0.12 10.53 - 5.89 0.05 10.30 - 13.37 0.07 14.31 - 13.40 0.06 - 0.00 2.99 - - 0.01 4.49 - - 0.01 4.60 - - 0.01 3.95 - 0.41 0.00 8.90 1.39 0.32 0.00 4.43 0.36 0.39 0.00 14.33 0.75 0.44 0.00 12.63 0.34 0.56 0.00 20.64 0.73 0.58 0.00 21.66 0.84 4.05 0.69 9.87 0.52 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 Maize - 1.40 1.39 1.52 1.03 0.07 0.11 0.06 0.09 1.35 1.38 1.74 1.83 1.84 1.19 1.07 0.00 CL = Castor at 1.5 m × 1.0 m (L) spacing; CH = Castor at 1.8 m × 1.0 m (H) spacing; BL = Beans at 0.5 m × 0.2 m (L) spacing; BH = Beans at 0.6 m × 0.2 m (H) spacing; ML = Maize at 0.75 m × 0.3 (L) spacing; MH = Maize at 0.9 m × 0.3 m (H) spacing; CL, CH, BL, BH, ML and MH = Monocrops of castor, beans and maize at different spacing while; CLBL, CLML, BLML, CHBHMH e.t.c = Intercrops of castor-beans, castor-maize, beans-maize and castor-beans -maize at different spacing respectively 57 58 Charles Obiero et al.: Effect of Intercropping Castor with M aize and Beans on Growth, Yield and Seed Oil Content P lant in g P attern s Table 4. Effect of different plant ing patt erns on int ercropping advantage (IA) Mix (%) Intercropping advantage (IA) 2011 2012 Castor Beans Maize Total Castor Beans Maize Planting pattern 1 (Monocropping) Tot al CH - ML - MH - BL - BH - BLML 69 BHMH 69 BLMH 73 BHML 65 CLBL 6 CLBH 7 CHBL 5 CHBH 6 CLML 13 CLMH 15 CHML 11 CHMH 13 CLBLML 4 CLBHMH 5 CHBLML 4 CHBHMH 4 CLBLMH 5 CLBHML 5 Mean LSD (0.05) 100 100 100 100 100 - 31 31 27 35 94 93 95 94 87 85 89 87 - 66 30 66 29 67 29 66 30 70 25 62 33 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Planting pattern 2 (Intercropping) - 25.26 71.37 96.62 - 35.17 65.85 101.02 - 21.67 87.32 108.99 - 44.08 98.76 142.84 42.73 919.54 - 962.27 34.29 585.15 - 619.44 41.92 572.08 - 614.00 40.07 794.93 - 835.00 19.23 - 0.00 19.23 15.75 - 0.25 15.99 21.68 - 0.31 21.99 16.47 - 0.32 16.79 Planting pattern 3 (Intercropping) 77.03 22.68 0.00 99.71 46.86 17.54 0.00 64.40 77.16 21.87 0.00 99.03 67.71 24.54 0.00 92.25 67.97 31.28 0.00 99.25 58.28 32.02 0.00 90.31 44.80 224.84 23.15 227.73 0.001 0.038 0.683 0.009 - 16.46 13.99 31.75 31.83 7.09 10.67 10.92 9.39 21.14 10.51 34.04 30.00 49.01 51.44 23.45 0.266 - 49.12 24.29 41.97 42.69 7.26 3.07 3.95 3.66 83.26 21.44 44.88 20.30 43.87 50.30 31.43 0.066 - 40.47 40.19 43.88 29.83 2.07 3.16 1.79 2.52 39.10 39.96 50.26 52.95 53.01 34.33 30.97 0.040 - 89.59 64.47 85.85 72.52 23.72 17.06 35.70 35.49 9.17 13.83 12.71 11.91 143.51 71.91 129.18 103.25 145.90 136.07 66.77 0.001 CL = Castor at 1.5 m × 1.0 m (L) spacing; CH = Castor at 1.8 m × 1.0 m (H) spacing; BL = Beans at 0.5 m × 0.2 m (L) spacing; BH = Beans at 0.6 m × 0.2 m (H) spacing; ML = Maize at 0.75 m × 0.3 (L) spacing; MH = Maize at 0.9 m × 0.3 m (H) spacing; CL, CH, BL, BH, ML and MH = Monocrops of castor, beans and maize at different spacing while; CLBL, CLML, BLML, CHBHMH e.t.c = Intercrops of castor-beans, castor-maize, beans-maize and castor-beans -maize at different spacing respectively 3.8. Land Equi valent Rati o (LER) The different planting patterns showed similar trends for the two seasons with the planting patterns involving maize-beans recording high LER values (2.30) followed by castor-beans (1.99) and lastly castor-maize (1.20) (Table 6). Furthermore, results indicated high LER values of above 2.20 for castor-beans intercrop at 1.5 m × 1.0 m and 0.5 m × 0.2 m spacing for castor and beans respectively. It was also showed that the individual crops species of castor and beans had LER values of above one (1) under all planting patterns in season one. These findings indicated that these intercropping systems had yield advantage over the corresponding monocrops in terms of the better use of land and environmental resources for plant growth[21]. In contrast, maize indicated low LER va lues with castor-ma ize and castor-maize-beans recording values of between 0.0 – 0.08 wh ile maize-beans reporting values of 0.89 – 1.60 for the individual maize crop in the first season. In the second season, castor reported low LER values of below one (1). These results were also similar to those of maize under all planting patterns with records of lo w LER values being reported. However, beans recorded values of above one (1) at all spacing of maize and beans while similar reports we re also shown for castor-beans intercrop at 1.5 m × 1.0 m and 0.5 m × 0.2 m spacing for castor and beans respectively. It was generally concluded that castor-beans intercrop at 1.5 m × 1.0 m and 0.5 m × 0.2 m spacing for castor and beans respectively, was the best cropping mixture. Similar experimental results have been reported in the past. Gupta and Rathore[22] indicated high castor equivalent yield, land equivalent ratio and net returns under castor with green grams. These findings might indicate the co mpatibility of castor with legu minous crops hence providing an entry point for the on-farm b iofuel production with food crops. Furthermore, the higher seed yield and the net income under castor and beans intercropping system could be exp lained in the higher total productivity especially under intercropping with less input investment[23]. 3.9. Monetary Advantage Index (MAI) Analysis Monetary advantage index (MAI) values found to be positive and higher for castor at all planting patterns within the first season, except for castor at 1.8 m × 1.0 m with either beans at 0.6 m × 0.2 m or maize at 0.9 m × 0.3 m spacing respectively (Table 7). Castor-beans cropping system at 1.5 m × 1.0 m spacing for castor and beans at 0.5 m × 0.2 m spacing, proved the most feasible planting International Journal of Plant Research 2013, 3(4): 52-62 59 pattern of castor with food crops, with results indicating MAI values of 31260 in the first season. In contrast, maize recorded high but negative and in some cases zero (0) MAI values at all planting patterns. In the second season, the MAI values were showed to be negative for castor and maize, and at all planting patterns. However, beans at 0.5 m × 0.2 m spacing, recorded significantly positive values for MAI at all planting patterns. Most importantly, positive MAI results were recorded by the beans crop at 0.5 m × 0.2 m spacing under castor at 1.5 m × 1.0 m intercropping system. The corresponding maize-beans planting patterns recorded negative MAI values, however, the individual crop MAI values indicated positive values for beans at all planting patterns. In contrast, maize showed negative MAI values at all planting patterns except under beans at 0.6 m × 0.2 m with maize at 0.9 m × 0.3 m spacing respectively. 3.10. Castor Seed Oil Content and Yiel d Intercropping of castor with maize and beans did not show any significant difference on the castor seed oil content (Table 8). Results indicated seed oil content in the range of 39.2 - 41.6% with a mean of 40% for this cultivar. However, the oil yield in ton ha-1 yr-1 was d ifferent for each planting patterns with high yields recorded for an intercrop of castor (1.5 m × 1.0 m) with either maize or beans. Castor seeds have been shown to contain oil in the range of 30 – 55% with oil y ields between 1.25 – 2.5 ton ha-1 yr-1[24,25]. 4. Conclusions It was concluded that castor could be grown productively with beans without negatively influencing food crop production, castor seed yield and seed oil content. It was recommended that for high castor seed and oil yield, an intercrop of castor with beans at spacing of 1.5 m × 1.0 m and 0.5 m × 0.2 m for castor and beans respectively could be adopted by smallholder farmers and that an intercrop of castor with maize should be discourage as this could aggravate the already worsening food situation to smallholder framers. However, further research is recommended at a wider spacing of castor with maize or an intercrop of maize with dwarf castor cultivars. Table 5. Mean seed weight (gm) for the different planting patterns of castor, maize and beans Planting pattern CL CH ML MH BL BH BLML BHMH BLMH BHML CLBL CLBH CHBL CHBH CLML CLMH CHML CHMH CLBLML CLBHMH CHBLML CHBHMH CLBLMH CLBHML Hundred seed mean weight (gm) Castor Beans 2011 2012 2011 2012 Planting pattern (Monocropping) 57.3a 56.5a . . 52.5a 51.6a . . . . . . . . . . . . 43.4c 52.1b . . 41.4c 53.8b Planting pattern (Intercropping) . . 42.1c 55.7b . . 39.3c 56.0b . . 39.0c 56.1b . . 41.7c 56.2b 53.1a 57.6a 42.2c 54.9b 56.7a 60.9a 44.5c 54.3b 57.3a 55.3a 35.6c 56.8b 53.7a 53.9a 36.5c 54.2b 55.0a 56.7a . . 54.5a 56.7a . . 53.9a 53.1a . . 56.7a 56.7a . . Planting pattern (Intercropping) 58.0a 57.3a 43.6c 60.4b 53.1a 52.5a 47.2c 56.2b 56.7a 56.3a 41.7c 53.9b 57.3a 53.7a 41.0c 58.7b 52.5a 54.9a 48.2c 57.5b 56.3a 54.5a 43.6c 58.6b Maize 2011 2012 . . 26.0e 28.2e . . . . 36.8d 36.7d . . 28.3e 30.6e 30.7e 32.5e . . . . 0.0g 18.6f 14.9f 12.6f 38.7d 38.2d 36.2d 37.5d . . . . 38.7d 39.0d 36.9d 37.5d 0.0g 40.7d 0.0g 36.0d 0.0g 35.6d 0.0g 37.4d 0.0g 38.3d 0.0g 37.9d Means with the same letters are not significantly different at P =.0001 CL = Castor at 1.5 m × 1.0 m (L) spacing; CH = Castor at 1.8 m × 1.0 m (H) spacing; BL = Beans at 0.5 m × 0.2 m (L) spacing; BH = Beans at 0.6 m × 0.2 m (H) spacing; ML = Maize at 0.75 m × 0.3 (L) spacing; MH = Maize at 0.9 m × 0.3 m (H) spacing; CL, CH, BL, BH, ML and MH = Monocrops of castor, beans and maize at different spacing while; CLBL, CLML, BLML, CHBHMH e.t.c = Intercrops of castor-beans, castor-maize, beans-maize and castor-beans -maize at different spacing respectively 60 Table 6. Seed yield (ton ha-1) and land equivalent ratio (LER) for sole crops and different mixture of castor, maize and beans Charles Obiero et al.: Effect of Intercropping Castor with Maize and Beans on Growth, Yield and Seed Oil Content P lant in g P attern s CL Mix-propo rt ion s (%) - 100 - CH - 100 - ML - 100 - MH - 100 - BL - 100 - BH - 100 - BLML 69 31 - BHMH 69 31 - BLMH 73 27 - BHML 65 35 - CLBL 6 94 - CLBH 7 93 - CHBL 5 95 - CHBH 6 94 - CLML 13 87 - CLMH 15 85 - CHML 11 89 - CHMH 13 87 - CLBLML 4 66 30 CLBHMH 5 66 29 CHBLML 4 67 29 CHBHMH 4 66 30 CLBLMH 5 70 25 CLBHML 5 62 33 Mean LSD (0.05) Castor 2.00 1.85 2.43 2.15 1.72 1.99 2.42 2.34 2.08 1.91 2.71 2.08 2.50 2.19 3.02 2.59 2.25 0.000 2011 Seed yield (ton ha-1) 2012 Beans Maize Total Castor Beans Maize 0.583 0.589 0.59 0.83 0.615 0.868 0.616 0.467 0.316 0.538 0.462 0.361 0.466 0.505 0.766 0.554 0.57 0.000 3.315 3.479 3.189 3.088 3.371 5.289 0 0.145 0.25 0.221 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.397 0.008 2.00 1.85 3.32 3.48 0.58 0.59 3.78 3.92 3.99 6.16 3.04 2.61 2.03 2.53 2.42 2.49 2.33 2.13 3.17 2.44 2.97 2.70 3.78 3.14 2.81 0.999 3.052 1.383 1.35 1.353 0.973 1.183 1.362 1.096 0.786 0.817 1.132 0.711 0.826 0.728 3.315 3.479 1.472 0.000 0.405 0.868 0.738 0.782 0.766 1.147 0.768 0.59 0.507 0.83 1.091 0.602 0.615 0.57 0.691 0.554 0.72 0.000 6.333 5.789 3.987 3.619 3.253 3.522 3.045 3.594 3.172 3.387 3.675 3.272 4.502 4.549 3.542 3.708 3.934 0.543 Tot al 3.05 1.38 6.33 5.79 0.41 0.87 4.73 4.4 4.02 4.67 2.12 1.94 1.48 2.01 4.41 4.69 3.96 4.2 5.9 4.59 5.94 5.85 7.55 7.74 4.08 0.991 Castor 1.21 1.07 0.93 1.08 1.21 1.17 1.13 0.96 1.35 1.04 1.35 1.19 1.51 1.29 1.18 0.00 2011 Beans 1.01 1.41 1.05 1.47 1.06 0.79 0.54 0.91 0.79 0.61 0.80 0.86 1.31 0.94 0.97 0.000 Land equivalent ratio (LER) Maize 0.96 0.89 0.97 1.60 0.00 0.04 0.08 0.06 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.33 0.00 Tot al 1.97 2.30 2.02 3.07 2.27 1.86 1.47 1.99 1.21 1.21 1.20 1.02 2.14 1.65 2.15 2.05 2.82 2.23 1.90 0.59 Castor 0.44 0.44 0.70 0.86 0.45 0.36 0.57 0.59 0.37 0.23 0.60 0.53 1.09 1.14 0.60 0.00 Beans 1.82 0.90 1.89 1.32 1.90 0.68 1.25 0.96 2.69 0.69 1.52 0.66 1.71 0.64 1.33 0.001 2012 Maize 0.63 0.63 0.56 0.56 0.48 0.62 0.50 0.59 0.58 0.57 0.71 0.79 0.61 0.59 0.60 0.00 Tot al 2.45 1.53 2.45 1.88 2.34 1.12 1.96 1.81 0.93 0.98 1.07 1.18 3.65 1.49 2.83 1.97 3.40 2.36 1.97 0.885 CL = Castor at 1.5 m × 1.0 m (L) spacing; CH = Castor at 1.8 m × 1.0 m (H) spacing; BL = Beans at 0.5 m × 0.2 m (L) spacing; BH = Beans at 0.6 m × 0.2 m (H) spacing; ML = Maize at 0.75 m × 0.3 (L) spacing; MH = Maize at 0.9 m × 0.3 m (H) spacing; CL, CH, BL, BH, ML and MH = Monocrops of castor, beans and maize at different spacing while; CLBL, CLML, BLML, CHBHMH e.t.c = Intercrops of castor-beans, castor-maize, beans-maize and castor-beans -maize at different spacing respectively International Journal of Plant Research 2013, 3(4): 52-62 61 Table 7. Monetary advantage index (MAI) for the different cropping mixture of castor, maize and beans Monetary advantage index (MAI) Cropping mixt ure BLML BHMH BLMH BHML CLBL CLBH CHBL CHBH CLML CLMH CHML CHMH CLBLML CLBHMH CHBLML CHBHMH CLBLMH CLBHML Castor 23935 7713 -6872 8130 17733 15101 10955 -4147 36399 3994 34336 19090 57116 31606 Beans 1650 43277 7624 72168 7325 -30438 -76016 -10790 - -36657 -68133 -32992 -20068 40599 -8845 2011 Maize Tot al Castor Planting pattern 1 (Intercropping) -5495 -3845 - -18872 24405 - -4695 2930 - 83798 155966 - - 31260 -129957 - -22725 -116188 - -82888 -30129 - -2660 -16864 0 17733 -180507 -2386735 -2371634 -267883 -1180420 -1169465 -94808 -1299334 -1303481 -91684 Planting pattern 2 (Intercropping) 0 -257 -372165 0 -64140 -528995 0 1344 -136103 0 -978 -176664 0 97715 22512 0 22760 35256 2012 Beans Maize 71951 -16658 65949 41489 48721 -43597 14385 -4567 - 137969 -70991 68919 -102655 117443 -162810 -93828 -90823 -109092 -136134 -157083 -91673 -124389 -93855 -158700 -123592 -82087 -53523 -180008 -203353 Tot al -21877 -107480 -43143 -94645 -81236 -159786 -15744 -21431 -337589 -359557 -219197 -185539 -392897 -723578 -149272 -332842 -40054 -330907 CL = Castor at 1.5 m × 1.0 m (L) spacing; CH = Castor at 1.8 m × 1.0 m (H) spacing; BL = Beans at 0.5 m × 0.2 m (L) spacing; BH = Beans at 0.6 m × 0.2 m (H) spacing; ML = Maize at 0.75 m × 0.3 (L) spacing; MH = Maize at 0.9 m × 0.3 m (H) spacing; CL, CH, BL, BH, ML and MH = Monocrops of castor, beans and maize at different spacing while; CLBL, CLML, BLML, CHBHMH e.t.c = Intercrops of castor-beans, castor-maize, beans-maize and castor-beans -maize at different spacing respectively Table 8. Effect of intercropping castor with maize and beans on the seed oil content and yield of castor P lant in g p att ern oil yield/ 50gm seed CL CH CLBL CLBH CHBL CHBH CLML CLMH CHML CHMH CLBLML CLBHMH CHBLML CHBHMH CLBLMH CLBHML Mean 20.00 20.07 20.10 20.00 20.20 19.93 20.13 20.40 20.07 19.93 19.93 20.20 20.00 20.20 19.93 20.20 20.08 2011 mean seed weight (gm) % seed oil cont ent 0.57 40.00 0.53 40.13 0.53 40.20 0.57 40.00 0.57 40.40 0.54 39.87 0.55 40.27 0.55 40.80 0.54 40.13 0.57 39.87 0.58 39.87 0.53 40.40 0.57 40.00 0.57 40.40 0.53 39.87 0.56 40.40 0.55 40.16 seed yield (ton ha-1) oil yield (ton ha-1) oil yield/ 50gm seed mean seed weight (gm) Planting pattern 1 (Monocropping) 2.00 0.80 20.33 0.57 1.85 0.74 20.23 0.52 Planting pattern 2 (Intercropping) 2.43 0.98 20.30 0.58 2.15 0.86 20.27 0.61 1.72 0.69 19.93 0.55 1.99 0.79 20.03 0.54 2.42 0.98 20.20 0.57 2.34 0.96 20.20 0.58 2.08 0.84 20.07 0.53 1.91 0.76 20.07 0.57 2.71 1.08 20.20 0.57 Planting pattern 3 (Intercropping) 2.08 0.84 20.20 0.53 2.50 1.00 20.07 0.56 2.19 0.89 20.20 0.54 3.02 1.21 19.93 0.55 2.59 1.04 20.20 0.55 2.248 0.90 20.15 0.56 2012 % seed oil cont ent seed yield (ton ha-1) 40.67 3.05 40.47 1.38 40.60 2.08 40.53 2.24 39.87 1.63 40.07 1.83 40.40 2.72 40.40 2.05 40.13 1.32 40.13 1.41 40.40 2.93 40.40 1.77 40.13 2.01 40.40 1.68 39.87 2.08 40.40 2.42 40.30 2.04 oil yield (ton ha-1) 1.25 0.56 0.85 0.91 0.65 0.74 1.10 0.82 0.53 0.57 1.18 0.72 0.81 0.68 0.83 0.98 0.82 CL = Castor at 1.5 m × 1.0 m (L) spacing; CH = Castor at 1.8 m × 1.0 m (H) spacing; BL = Beans at 0.5 m × 0.2 m (L) spacing; BH = Beans at 0.6 m × 0.2 m (H) spacing; ML = Maize at 0.75 m × 0.3 (L) spacing; MH = Maize at 0.9 m × 0.3 m (H) spacing; CL, CH, BL, BH, ML and MH = Monocrops of castor, beans and maize at different spacing while; CLBL, CLML, BLML, CHBHMH e.t.c = Intercrops of castor-beans, castor-maize, beans-maize and castor-beans -maize at different spacing respectively

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