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Effect of maize (Zea mays) and sesbania (Sesbania sesban) intercropping on forage yield and quality




 Introduction: Intercropping is one of the best methods to increase forage production and improve quality. Selecting suitable plants for intercropping is critical to increasing crop production, improving yield quality, intensifying radiation capture, building biodiversity and finally, enhancing the productivity of the agroecosystem. Intercropping with cereals and legumes is an ecological strategy for improving quality and increasing yield. Maize (Zea mays) is a member of the grass family, Poaceae, which could produce high amounts of forage with high palatability and digestibility and low levels of protein. Sesbania (Sesbania sesban) is a legume with high protein quality and good digestibility that could boost forage production. This plant species is known as a forage crop tolerant to salt stress with a high adaptability to tropical regions. Intercropping sesbania and maize could produce high quality forage under tropical conditions. This research was conducted in order to evaluate the intercropping effects of maize and sesbania on forage yield and quality. Materials and methods: This experiment was performed using a randomized complete block design with three replications in a research field at Jiroft University. Experimental treatments included different ratios of replacement intercropping series (25: 75, 33: 67, 50: 50, 67: 33, 75: 25), maize Sole cropping and sesbania Sole cropping. Plant density of Sole cropping of maize and sesbania was 25 plants per m2. Evaluated traits were forage yield, crude protein, ash, acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), water soluble carbohydrates (WSC) and Land equivalent ratio (LER). Results and discussion: The results showed intercropping had significant (p<0. 01) effects on dry forage yield and its quality. The highest dry forage yield of maize (15, 208kg/ha) was observed in the 50: 50 maize/sesbania intercropping ratio. Yield of this treatment was 10. 57% more than the maize Sole cropping yield (13, 754 kg/ha). The highest dry forage yield of sesbania (1, 558. 3kg/ha), ash (8. 59%) and crude protein (11. 22%) was observed in sesbania Sole cropping. Increasing the density of sesbania in intercropping, caused an improvement in crude protein and ash and a decrease in WSC, ADF, NDF and fiber of total harvested forage The highest WSC ADF, NDF and fiber was observed in the maize sole crop. Land equivalent ratio for all intercropping treatments, with the exception of 25: 75 maize/sesbania, was significantly greater than one, and the higher LER of 1. 34 was obtained in the 50: 50 maize/sesbania intercropping. Conclusion: The results of this study indicated intercropping of maize with sesbania improved forage yield and Forage quality indices. The LER index also increased as a result of the intercropping. Therefore, intercropping of these crops showed more economic profit than Sole cropping. Comparing different treatments indicated that a 50: 50 maize/sesbania intercropping (equal to 12. 5 maize plants + 12. 5 sesbania plants per square meter) was the best admissible intercropping treatment which presented the highest forage yield, suitable forage quality and greatest LER.


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    APA: Copy

    Dareini, Elham, JOWKAR, MEHRANGIZ, & TAEI SEMIROMI, JAVAD. (2018). Effect of maize (Zea mays) and sesbania (Sesbania sesban) intercropping on forage yield and quality. JOURNAL OF AGROECOLOGY (کشاورزی بوم شناختی), 8(2 ), 68-81. SID.

    Vancouver: Copy

    Dareini Elham, JOWKAR MEHRANGIZ, TAEI SEMIROMI JAVAD. Effect of maize (Zea mays) and sesbania (Sesbania sesban) intercropping on forage yield and quality. JOURNAL OF AGROECOLOGY (کشاورزی بوم شناختی)[Internet]. 2018;8(2 ):68-81. Available from:

    IEEE: Copy

    Elham Dareini, MEHRANGIZ JOWKAR, and JAVAD TAEI SEMIROMI, “Effect of maize (Zea mays) and sesbania (Sesbania sesban) intercropping on forage yield and quality,” JOURNAL OF AGROECOLOGY (کشاورزی بوم شناختی), vol. 8, no. 2 , pp. 68–81, 2018, [Online]. Available:

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