A field experiment was conducted from August to November, during the 2012 and 2013 cropping seasons at the Research Farm, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria, to identify the optimum plant density of okra and intercropping effects on yields of egusi melon-okra mixture and to assess the yield advantages of the intercropping system. The experiment was a 3x3 split plot arrangement of treatments, fitted in a randomized complete block design (RCBD), replicated four times. The intercropping (sole egusi melon, sole okra and egusi melon-okra mixture) constituted the main plots, while the population densities of okra (33,000, 40,000 and 50,000 plants ha-1 equivalent) into egusi melon were allocated to the subplots. Results of study showed that to maximize intercrop yield of okra in an egusi melon-okra intercrop, the optimal population density of okra is 33,000 plants ha-1, while that of 40,000 plants ha-1 is optimal to maximize intercrop yield of egusi melon. Intercropping egusi melon and okra significantly (P≤0.05) reduced yields of egusi melon (37.5 % and 40.5 % respectively, in years 2012 and 2013) and that of okra (9.7 % and 16.9 % respectively, in years 2012 and 2013). The highest mean land equivalent ratio value of 1.57 and highest land equivalent coefficient values of 0.60 and 0.63 respectively, in years 2012 and 2013, were recorded for okra sown into egusi melon at the population density of 40,000 plants ha-1. It is most advantageous having both crops in intercrop when okra is sown into egusi melon at the population density of 40,000 plants ha-1. This should therefore be recommended for Makurdi location, Nigeria.
International Letters of Natural Sciences (Volume 38)
M. O. Ijoyah et al., "Optimum Plant Density of Okra and Intercropping Effects on Yields of Egusi Melon-Okra Mixture, at Makurdi, Nigeria", International Letters of Natural Sciences, Vol. 38, pp. 46-55, 2015