Responses Of Selected Fruit Vegetables To Intercropping With Juvenile Oil Palm And Weed Diversity

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The wide spacing used for oil palm plantation has led to serious weed infestation from transplanting to canopy closure stages when the oil palm becomes productive. The study was conducted to investigate the responses of some fruit vegetables to intercropping with juvenile oil palm of two years old. The objectives of the study were to: (i) evaluate the growth and yield of the fruit vegetables to three spacing regimes in juvenile oil palm/fruit vegetable intercrop; (ii) determine the effects of intercropping on growth of the juvenile oil palms; (iii) determine the biological and economic efficiencies of oil palm/fruit vegetable intercrop; (iv) investigate weed species diversity in the experimental plots; and (v) establish the effect of the intercrops on weed smothering efficiency, density and biomass.rnFour fruit vegetables: (i) tomato (accessions NGB 01665 and NG/AA/SEP/09/053); (ii) pepper (NGB 01312 and NGB 01641); (iii) okra (NGB 01184); and (iv) egg plant (NGB 01737), were intercropped within alley of juvenile oil palms (240 m2)during rainy season of 2016 and 2017 at oil palm plantation in Ala, Akure-North Local Government Area, Ondo State. Each vegetable was intercropped at a distance of 1, 2 or 3 m from the juvenile oil palm and control plot (non-intercropped) at 1 X 1 m spacing. Intercropped and non-intercropped juvenile oil palm growths were compared. Weed species distribution and diversity were evaluated. Data were subjected to analysis of variance using Statistical Package for Social Sciences and means were separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test at P<0.05.rnThe findings of the study were that:rni. tomato (NGB 01665) and okra (NGB 01184) intercropped recorded highest yield at 3 m from the juvenile oil palm (3.893 and 0.321 tonha-1 respectively); and tomato (NG/AA/SEP/09/053), pepper (NGB 01312 and NGB 01641) and eggplant (NGB 01737) intercropped at 3 m from the juvenile oil palms were higher in yield (3.704, 0.614, 0.570 and 2.063 tonha-1, respectively) than other spacing regimes and control;rnii. juvenile oil palms did not show any adverse effects when intercropped with the fruit vegetables during second (2016) and third year (2017) of establishment (canopy spread, 218.20 cm and 433.80 cm, respectively);rniii. pepper (NGB 01641)-, okra (NGB 01184)- and eggplant (NGB 01737)-intercrops recorded land equivalency ratio of 1.404, 1.447 and 1.097 respectively, while tomato (NGB 01665 and NG/AA/SEP/09/053) recorded intercropping advantages at 3 m from juvenile oil palm;rniv. twenty-eight and 20 different weed species were found at 3 weeks after intercrop and harvesting of the fruit vegetables, respectively. Members of Asteraceae and Poaceae were the most abundant weeds at 3 weeks after intercrop (17.86%) and after harvesting (20.0%), respectively. Pepper control plot had the highest weed species diversity; andrnv. tomato (NG/AA/SEP/09/053) and eggplant (NGB 01737) exhibited greatest smothering effect on weeds at 3 m from juvenile oil palm (46.64% and 58.414%, respectively).rnThe study concluded that tomato (NG/AA/SEP/09/053) and eggplant (NGB 01737) have highest yield and weed smothering effect respectively. It is therefore recommended that they should be intercropped within the alley of juvenile oil palm.

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Responses Of Selected Fruit Vegetables To Intercropping With Juvenile Oil Palm And Weed Diversity

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