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Response of Cassava to Irrigation Scheduling and Forage Intercropping

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Field experiments were conducted to find out the level of irrigation and the effect of intercropping on the growth and yield Cassava at Veterinary College and Research Institute, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu during 2001 and 2002. The popular hybrid of cassava H 226 was tried as test crop. The soil of the experimental site was moderately drained, loamy sand. The soils were low in available N, medium in available P and low in available K. The experiments were laid out in a split plot design with three replications. In the main plot, four levels of surface irrigation at 1.0, 0.80, 0.60 and 0.40 IW / CPE ratio to 5 cm depth were compared. Three intercropping systems viz., sole cassava, cassava + maize (var. African tall) and cassava + cowpea (var. CO 5) were assigned to sub plot. Disease free setts of cassava were planted at a spacing of 90 x 90 cm. Two rows of intercrops were sown in between the rows of main crop as additive intercropping series. Seeds of fodder maize and cowpea were dibbled in lines at a spacing of 30 x 20 cm accommodating two rows of intercrops between the rows of cassava. A fertilizer dose of 60:60:150 NPK Kg ha-1 was uniformly applied to all the plots. Fertilizers were applied only to the main crop. The results revealed that irrigation at 0.80 IW / CPE ratio registered the highest tuber yield. However this yield was comparable with the tuber yield obtained with irrigation scheduled at 0.60 IW / CPE ratio. The economic evaluation revealed that the BC ratio was higher surface irrigation scheduled at 0.80 IW / CPE ratio followed by irrigation scheduled at 0.60 IW / CPE ratio and were comparable. Among the intercropping systems, sole cassava recorded the highest tuber yield and BC ratio followed by cassava intercropped with cowpea and both were comparable. Cassava intercropped with maize recorded the least tuber yield and BC ratio.
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Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, 2(6): 559-563, 2006
© 2006, INSInet Publication
Response of Cassava to Irrigation Scheduling and Forage Intercropping
M. Mohamed Amanullah, M. Mohamed Yassin, K. Vaiyapuri,
E. Somasundaram, K. Sathyamoorthi and S. Pazhanivelan
Department of Agronomy, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore-3, India.
Abstract: Field experiments were conducted to find out the level of irrigation and the effect of intercropping
on the growth and yield Cassava at Veterinary College and Research Institute, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu during
2001 and 2002. The popular hybrid of cassava H 226 was tried as test crop. The soil of the experimental
site was moderately drained, loamy sand. The soils were low in available N, medium in available P and low
in available K. The experiments were laid out in a split plot design with three replications. In the main plot,
four levels of surface irrigation at 1.0, 0.80, 0.60 and 0.40 IW / CPE ratio to 5 cm depth were compared.
Three intercropping systems viz., sole cassava, cassava + maize (var. African tall) and cassava + cowpea
(var. CO 5) were assigned to sub plot. Disease free setts of cassava were planted at a spacing of 90 x 90
cm. Two rows of intercrops were sown in between the rows of main crop as additive intercropping series.
Seeds of fodder maize and cowpea were dibbled in lines at a spacing of 30 x 20 cm accommodating two
rows of intercrops between the rows of cassava. A fertilizer dose of 60:60:150 NPK Kg ha-1 was uniformly
applied to all the plots. Fertilizers were applied only to the main crop. The results revealed that irrigation
at 0.80 IW / CPE ratio registered the highest tuber yield. However this yield was comparable with the tuber
yield obtained with irrigation scheduled at 0.60 IW / CPE ratio. The economic evaluation revealed that the
BC ratio was higher surface irrigation scheduled at 0.80 IW / CPE ratio followed by irrigation scheduled
at 0.60 IW / CPE ratio and were comparable. Among the intercropping systems, sole cassava recorded the
highest tuber yield and BC ratio followed by cassava intercropped with cowpea and both were comparable.
Cassava intercropped with maize recorded the least tuber yield and BC ratio.
Key words: Cassava, irrigation scheduling, intercropping, water use efficiency
INTRODUCTION
requirement of cassava has not been critically examined
although response to irrigation was studied. The crop is
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz.) commonly
mostly grown under conventional surface method of
known as tapioca in India is a staple food of more than
irrigation in which major portion of irrigation water is
300 million people and also serves as an important raw
lost by evaporation and deep percolation resulting in
material for several industries. Cassava, a long season,
lower efficiencies. The climatological approach is
wide spaced crop is slow in its initial growth and
increasingly used by scientists for assessing the water
development and therefore, intercropping a short
requirement of crops. Hence, a field experiment was
duration crop may increase the biological efficiency as
initiated to find out the optimum ratio of irrigation
a whole. Normally, green covers are planted with
schedule and also a suitable forage intercrop in Cassava.
cassava for a variety of purposes such as cultural weed
control, fertility and moisture conservation and forage
MATERIAL AND METHODS
production[6].
Water for irrigation is becoming both scarce and
Field experiments were conducted at Veterinary
expensive and necessitates to be utilized in a scientific
College and Research Institute, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu
manner. Scheduling irrigation with its ability of
during 2001 and 2002 to find out the effect of irrigation
irrigation applications based on crop need have created
schedule and intercropping on the growth and yield
interest because of decreased water requirements,
cassava. The popular hybrid of cassava H 226 was tried
possible increased production and better quality produce.
as test crop. The soil of the experimental site was
Among the tuber crops, cassava is the most popular in
moderately drained, loamy sand. The field capacity,
water deficit areas and its cultivation is gaining
permanent wilting point and bulk density were 21.2 %,
importance.In these areas, cassava is generally grown
and 6.2 % and 1.42 g cc-1, respectively. The pH of the
with limited amount of irrigation water. Irrigation
soil was neutral with an EC of 0.2 dSm-1. The soils were
Corresponding Author: M. Mohamed Amanullah, Department of Agronomy, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University,
Coimbatore-3, India.
559

Res. J. Agric. & Biol. Sci., 2(6): 559-563, 2006
low in available N, medium in available P and low in
influenced by the irrigation treatments and surface
available K. The experiments were laid out in a split
irrigation scheduled at IW / CPE ratio of 0.80 registered
plot design with three replications. In the main plot, four
the highest yield in both the years of study recording the
levels of surface irrigation at 1.0, 0.80, 0.60 and
mean tuber yield of 35.1 t ha-1. However, this yield was
0.40 IW/CPE ratio to 5 cm depth were compared.
comparable with irrigation scheduled at 0.60 IW / CPE
Three intercropping systems viz., sole cassava, cassava
ratio (Table 1). Tuber yield was the lowest at surface
+ maize (var. African tall) and cassava + cowpea (var.
irrigation scheduled at 0.40 IW / CPE ratio to 5 cm
CO 5) were assigned to sub plot. Disease free setts of
depth.
cassava were planted at a spacing of 90 x 90 cm. Two
It is quite obvious that continuous application of
rows of intercrops were sown in between the rows of
water at optimum levels would result in higher yield
main crop as additive intercropping series. Seeds of
under drip system. Sushama et al.[11] reported that the
fodder maize and cowpea were dibbled in lines at a
yield of cassava under irrigation scheduled at 0.75
spacing of 30 x 20 cm accommodating two rows of
IW/CPE ratio was superior over surface irrigation
intercrops between the rows of cassava. A fertilizer dose
scheduled at 0.50 IW / CPE ratio, and the per cent yield
of 60:60:150 NPK Kg ha-1 was uniformly applied to all
increase due to irrigation over no irrigation was 51, 46
the plots. Fertilizers were applied only to the main crop.
and 26 at 0.75, 0.5 and 0.25 IW / CPE ratios.
Three hand weeding on 30th, 60th and 90th day after
Beyond a certain level of moisture, a slight decrease
planting was given commonly for all the plots.
in yield and moisture was realized as evidenced in
Tuber yield of cassava and forage yield of
irrigated scheduled at 1.0 IW / CPE ratio. Similar result
intercrops were recorded at harvest and cost benefit ratio
of yield reduction in sweet potato due to irrigation
worked out. Cassava tuber equivalent yield was arrived
scheduled at IW / CPE ratio of 1.25 and 1.5 was
at by equating the green fodder cost to that of the
reported[4].
cassava tuber. Total water used and water use efficiency
Among the intercropping systems, the highest tuber
was computed for irrigation treatments. Sole crop of
yield was recorded in sole cassava followed by cassava
fodder maize and cowpea were raised separately and the
intercropped with cowpea, which was comparable with
yield recorded for calculating LER.
sole cassava. The lowest yield was associated with
cassava intercropped with maize. In sole cassava, there
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
was no competition for various resources except intra-
species competition. This might have paved way for the
Yield Attributes: All the yield attributes viz, number of
increase in growth and yield parameters, which would
tubers per plant, tuber length and tuber girth were
have increased the yield. Karnik et al.[5] also reported
favourably influenced by the irrigation treatments and
similar result of higher tuber yield by sole cassava.
irrigation through surface irrigation at 0.80 IW / CPE
Even though cassava intercropped with cowpea
ratio recorded the highest values followed by surface
recorded lesser yield than sole cassava, the yield
irrigation at 0.60 IW / CPE ratio. Continuous application
reduction was not significant. However, after the harvest
of water at optimum levels would have resulted in better
of cowpea, the smothering effect was reduced slowly
nutrient uptake and hence better tuber formation. This is
and an improvement in growth and yield parameters was
in conformity with the findings of Ayyaswamy and
obtained as evidenced in this present study and this
Chinnusamy[1] who reported similar results in cassava.
might cumulatively have contributed for the increase in
Among the intercropping systems, sole cassava
yield of cassava. Savithri and Alexander[10] reported that
recorded more number of tubers per plant, higher tuber
there was no significant difference in yield of cassava
length and girth and was followed by cassava
when intercropped with cowpea and this lends support
intercropped with cowpea. In sole cassava, there was no
to this present finding. Mohamed Amanullah et al.[8]
competition for various resources except intra-species
also reported similar findings.
competition. This might have paved way for the increase
The reduction in tuber yield of cassava intercropped
in yield parameters. However, after the harvest of
with fodder maize might be attributable to the higher
cowpea, the smothering effect was reduced slowly and
competition by maize for resources in the early stages
an improvement in growth parameters was obtained
and the resultant effect on the growth and yield
which might cumulatively have contributed for the
parameters up to harvest. Similar yield reduction by
increase in yield parameters. Savithri and Alexander (10)
intercropping maize in cassava was reported by Ikeorgu
reported that there was no significant difference in yield
and Odurukwe[3] and Olasantan et al.[9].
parameters of cassava when intercropped with cowpea
and this lends support to this present finding.
Intercrop Yield: Surface irrigation scheduled at
IW/CPE ratio of 0.80 registered the highest green
Cassava Tuber Yield: Tuber yield was significantly
fodder yield in both the years of study. However, the
560

Res. J. Agric. & Biol. Sci., 2(6): 559-563, 2006
Table 1:
Effect of irrigation regimes and intercropping on yield attributes, tuber yield and cost benefit ratio of cassava
Yield attributes
Yield (t ha-1)
Treatments
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuber
Fodder
Tuber
Fodder
Tubers
Tuber
Tuber
-----------
---------------------
---------- --------------------
per plant
length (cm)
girth (cm)
Cassava
Maize
Cowpea Cassava Maize Cowpea
--------------------
-----------------
---------------------
2001
2002
2001
2002
2001
2002
2001
2001
2001
2002
2002
2002
-02
-03
-02
-03
-02
-03
-02
-02
-02
-03
-03
-03
A. Irrigation regimes
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D Surface, 5 cm,
6.44
6.49
27.9
27.4
16.2
16.5
30.2
8.80
6.90
30.5
9.80
7.80
1
0.40 IW / CPE
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D Surface, 5 cm,
6.74
6.60
29.1
28.3
17.5
17.2
35.2
11.1
7.86
35.9
12.4
8.22
2
0.60 IW / CPE
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D Surface, 5 cm,
6.75
6.64
29.2
28.5
17.7
17.5
35.7
11.2
7.94
36.4
12.6
8.34
3
0. 80 IW / CPE
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D Surface, 5 cm,
6.61
6.55
27.9
27.7
17.0
16.8
34.6
10.1
7.50
35.1
11.6
8.25
4
1.00 IW / CPE
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SEd
0.09
0.27
0.38
0.37
0.22
0.22
0.13
0.19
0.13
0.31
0.17
0.12
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CD (P=0.05)
0.17
0.54
0.75
0.73
0.44
0.45
0.17
0.48
0.33
0.70
0.44
0.31
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B. Intercroppingsystems
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I Sole cassava
6.75
6.66
28.7
28.3
17.4
17.4
34.9
-
-
35.6
-
-
1
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I Cassava
6.55
6.50
28.3
27.7
16.8
16.6
32.4
10.3
-
33.1
11.6
-
2
+ maize
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I Cassava
6.62
6.57
28.5
27.9
17.1
16.8
34.5
-
7.54
34.8
-
8.15
3
+ cowpea
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SEd
0.01
0.02
0.08
0.07
0.14
0.14
0.40
-
-
0.40
-
-
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CD (P=0.05)
0.03
0.05
0.18
0.15
0.30
0.30
0.88
-
0.90
-
-
green fodder yield under surface irrigation scheduled at
intercrops.
0.60 IW / CPE ratio was comparable (Table 1). Green
Cassava intercropped with cowpea registered the
fodder yield was the lowest at surface irrigation
highest tuber equivalent yield than the other systems
scheduled at 0.40 IW / CPE ratio to 5 cm depth.
(Table 2). This might be due to the obvious reason of
higher productivity of cassava in cassava + cowpea
Tuber Equivalent Yield: Cassava tuber equivalent yield
intercropping, comparable to the yield in sole crop and
was worked out mainly to evaluate the productivity of
the cost of cowpea which was more than the cost of
the intercropping systems. Since the intercrops tried
maize. Similar result of higher tuber equivalent yield
were of different nature (maize, a cereal and cowpea, a
recorded under cassava + cowpea intercropping system
legume), the values of intercrops were equated to the
reported by Mohamed Amanullah et al.[8] lend support
value of main crop and added to the main crop for easy
to this finding.
comparison.
Among the irrigation treatments, surface irrigation
Land Equivalent Ratio (LER): Among the irrigation
scheduled at IW/CPE ratio of 0.80 registered the highest
treatments, irrespective of the intercrops, higher LER
tuber equivalent yield in both the years of study.
was recorded in surface irrigation scheduled at
However, the tuber equivalent yield under surface
IW/CPE ratio of 0.80 (Table 2). This might be due to
irrigation scheduled at 0.60 IW/CPE ratio was
the higher yield recorded by both cassava and the
comparable (Table 1). Tuber equivalent yield was the
intercrops under the respective treatments.
lowest at surface irrigation scheduled at 0.40 IW / CPE
Among the intercropping systems, cassava
ratio to 5 cm depth. The higher tuber equivalent yield
intercropped with cowpea registered higher LER than
registered by the irrigation treatments might be due to
cassava intercropped with maize. The increased yield
the higher yield of both cassava and the respective
of base crop of cassava in cassava intercropped with
561

Res. J. Agric. & Biol. Sci., 2(6): 559-563, 2006
Table 2: Effect of intercropping and irrigation regimes on tuber equivalent yield (t ha-1), LER and BC ratio
2001-2002
2002-2003
Treatments
-------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------
Tuber
LER
BC ratio
Tuber
LER
BC ratio
Equivalent yield
Equivalent yield
A. Irrigation regimes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D Surface, 5 cm, 0.40 IW / CPE
32.2
1.28
2.73
33.9
1.34
2.78
1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D Surface, 5 cm, 0.60 IW / CPE
37.6
1.37
2.96
38.5
1.41
3.03
2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D Surface, 5 cm, 0. 80 IW / CPE
38.1
1.38
3.01
39.1
1.43
3.04
3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D Surface, 5 cm, 1.00 IW / CPE
37.1
1.34
2.86
38.2
1.40
2.95
4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SEd
0.03
-
-
0.04
-
-
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CD (P=0.05)
0.07
-
-
0.07
-
-
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B. Intercropping systems
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I Sole cassava
34.9
-
2.885
35.6
-
2.95
1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I Cassava + maize
36.4
1.29
2.83
37.6
1.35
2.88
2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I Cassava + cowpea
37.6
1.39
2.96
38.9
1.43
3.03
3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SEd
0.43
-
-
0.42
-
-
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CD
0.95
-
-
0.90
-
-
Table 3:Total water used and water use efficiency in different irrigation treatments (mean over two years)
Irrigation regimes
Particulars
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Surface irrigation
Surface irrigation
Surface irrigation
Surface irrigation
at 0.40 IW / CPE
at 0.60 IW / CPE
at 0.80 IW / CPE
at 1.00 IW / CPE
Irrigation water applied (mm)
598
639
660
702
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Effective rainfall (mm)
336
336
336
336
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total water used (mm)
934
975
996
1038
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuber equivalent yield (kg ha-1)
33050
38010
38640
37660
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Water use efficiency (kg ha-1 mm)
35.3
38.9
38.8
36.2
cowpea, than cassava intercropped with maize might be
irrigation scheduled at 0.40 IW / CPE ratio recorded the
the plausible reasons for such increase. The higher LER
least BC ratio.
value reported in cassava + cowpea combination by
Mason et al.[7] and similarly higher LER values in
Conclusion: It can be concluded that in areas where
cassava + maize intercropping by Ezumah et al.[2] are
there is no water scarcity, surface irrigation scheduled at
concomitant to this finding.
0.80 IW / CPE ratio could be recommended for getting
higher yield. In moderate water scarcity areas, surface
irrigation scheduled at 0.60 IW / CPE ratio could be
Water Use Efficiency: Surface irrigation scheduled at
recommended for getting higher yield in cassava.
0.60 IW/CPE ratio has consumed 975 mm of water for
Intercropping forage cowpea in cassava could fetch
the whole period with a water use efficiency of 38.9 kg
additional revenue without consuming additional water
ha-1 mm (Table 3). This was followed by surface
and affecting the yield of cassava.
irrigation scheduled at 0.80 IW / CPE ratio with a
consumption of 996 mm and WUE of 38.8 kg ha-1 mm.
REFERENCES
Economics: The economic evaluation of the results
1.
Ayyaswamy, M. and C. Chinnusamy. 1996. Effect
revealed that the BC ratio was higher under surface
of irrigation regimes, comrade cropping and soil
irrigation scheduled at 0.80 IW / CPE ratio. However,
amendments on biochemical analysis, N, P and K
the BC ratio obtained under surface irrigation scheduled
uptake and yield of cassava and groundnut. Madras
at 0.60 IW / CPE ratio was comparable. Surface
Agric. J., 83 (2): 103 – 106.
562

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