Document Type : Original Article
Agronomy Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Benha University, Egypt
Crop Intensification Research Department, Field Crops Research Institute, Agricultural Research Center, Egypt
field study was conducted to investigate the effect of integrated three weed control treatments (zero, once and twice hoeing) and intercropped cowpea with maize at three planting distance (10, 15 and 20 cm), on weed control, yield of maize and economic evaluation. Hand hoeing once and twice caused reduction in dry weight of total weeds, and increased weed control efficiency (WCE), yield and yield components of maize and fresh forage yield/fed of cowpea. Highest values were with hand hoeing twice. Interplanting cowpea at 10 and 15 cm, increased percentage of WCE and fresh forage yield/fed of cowpea, irrespective hand hoeing levels, the opposite trend was observed with maize traits. Cowpea planted at 10 cm or 15 cm with using hand hoeing twice decreased the dry weight of total weeds at 45 and 60 days after planting and improved forage yield/fed of cowpea. Sole planting of both crops had the highest yields/fed. Nonetheless, intercropping cowpea + hand hoeing twice had yield and yield components at par with those of sole maize. The highest mean value of LER (1.51 and 1.48) was obtained by growing cowpea at 15 cm and twice time of hoeing. Weed control in maize with applied hand hoeing twice and planted cowpea at 15 cm recorded higher values of gross and net return. It could be concluded that application hand hoeing with growing cowpea as cover crop, at 15cm planting distance was suggested for weed control, increased maize performance and net return.