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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2000;13(6): 781-784.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2000.781    Published online June 1, 2000.
Influence of Maize and Cowpea Intercropping on Fodder Production and Characteristics of Silage
A. Azim, A. G. Khan, M. A. Nadeem, D. Muhammad
A study was conducted to examine the influence of maize (Zea mays) and cowpea (Vigna unguniculata) intercropping on fodder biomass production and silage characteristics. Maize fodder was cultivated alone and intercropped with cowpea at seed ratio of 85:15 and 70:30. Fodder was harvested at heading stage (at about 35% dry matter). The data indicated significant increase in biomass and crude protein production of maize intercropped with cowpea at seed ratio 70:30 followed by seed ratio 85:15 as compared to maize alone. However, no (p>0.05) difference was observed in TDN production among th e three treatments. Four types of silages from, I) maize alone, II) maize and cowpea (85:15), III) maize and cowpea (70:30) and IV) maize supplemented with 2.5% urea were prepared. After 60 days of ensiling period, silage samples were analysed for proximate composition and fermentation characteristics. Crude protein and lactic acid values of silages I, II, III and IV were 8.52, 9.82, 14.90 and 13.96% and 9.00, 9.38, 10.86 and 7.43%; respectively. In situ dry matter digestibility was maximum in silage III followed by silages II, IV and I. The results suggested that intercropping of maize and cowpea at seed ratio 70:30 increased fodder production and produced quality silage.
Keywords: Intercropping; Maize; Cowpea; Silage

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