Changes of Soil Inorganic N, Soil Organic C and N Uptake by Maize and Soybean under Different Intercropping Patterns in Embu West and Tigania East Counties of Central Kenya
Mugwe, J. N.
Matusso, J. M. M.
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In the central highlands of Kenya, low soil fertility is one of the major constraints causing decreased maize production and other staple food and income generating crops. The purpose of this study was therefore to determine the effects of maize-soybean intercropping patterns on soil inorganic N, soil organic C and N uptake by maize and soybean. The effects of conventional=1M:1S,MBILI-MBILI=2Maize:2Soybean; 2Maize:4Soybean, 2Maize:6Soybean and two sole crops of maize and soybean were investigated during two seasons (2012 Long Rains and 2012 Short Rains) at Embu and Meru Counties, using a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. At Embu, during 2012 LR, the MBILI and 2M:4S treatments observed significantly the lowest N03- - N content (8.24 mg kg-1 and 9.15 mg kg-1, respectively); whereas at Kamujine, the sole soybean treatment recorded statistically the highest N03- - N content (8.24 mg kg-1). At Kamujine the sole soybean treatment recorded statistically the highest (12.84 mg kg-1) soil Inorganic N. The N uptake by maize and soybean was significantly affected by the intercropping patterns and it was positively correlated with soil mineral N, at both sites during the sampling period. At Kamujine, theSOC was significantly affected by the intercropping and the conventional treatment recorded the highest value of 2.46%.