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Intercropping of maize and climbing bean: fodder yield, quality and nutrient composition of silages

By: Maw Ni Soe Htet, Rab Nawaz Soomro, Hai Jiang bo

Key Words: Intercropping, Maize, Climbing bean, Fodder, Silage quality.

Int. J. Agr. Agri. Res. 9(1), 25-31, July 2016.


A study was conducted to examine fodder yield and silage quality of maize (Zea mays L.) and climbing bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) intercropping with different planting structure. Maize was cultivated alone and intercropped with climbing bean as follows;1 row maize to 1 row climbing bean (1M1K), 1 row maize to 2 rows climbing bean (1M2K) and 2 rows maize to 1 row climbing bean (2M1K). The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design with four treatments and three replications. The crops were harvested when the maize reached at milk stage and climbing bean at R7 stage. The results indicated significant increase in fresh biomass and dry matter production of maize fodder alone as compared to maize intercropped with climbing bean fodder. However, no difference (p>0.05) was observed in ether extract (EE), and ash (%) of nutrient composition of fodder among the four treatments After 45 days of ensiling period, silage samples were analysed for pH, organic acids (lactic, acetic, and butyric), ammonia-N(NH3-N), dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF), water soluble carbohydrate (WSC), calcium (Ca), sodium (Na) and potassium (K). All intercropped silages had higher CP values (1M1K, 12.0%; 1M2K, 12.3%; 2M1K, 11.1%) than the monocrop maize (SM, 8.9%) silage. Higher organic acids and ammonia-N (p<0.05) were produced in the 1M2K silages as compared to others silages. The study showed that among all intercropped silages the 1M2K (1 row maize to 2 rows climbing bean) was preferable according to nutrient composition than other intercropped silages.


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