Maize-Lablab intercropping date improves yield and suppress parthenium weed.
Intercropping improves total productivity of food and feed crops through efficient utilization of land resource and farming inputs. The objective of under-sowing lablab (Lablab purpureus L.) in maize (Zea mays) field was to evaluate biological yield and parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) control during 2018-2020 at research substation of ArbaMinch on a sandy-loam soil and rainfall of 1103 mm. The treatments: sole-maize(M0), sole-lablab(L0), similar day planting(ML0), planting lablab ten days after maize(ML10), twenty days(ML20), thirty days(ML30) and forty days(ML40) were laid out in randomized complete block design with three replications. Growth, yield and yield components, biological competition of intercrops and weed invasion of the plots were assessed for intercrop combinations of maize and lablab. Higher(P < 0.01) plant height and branch number of lablab were recorded at ML10, leaf to stem ratio of lablab was higher at L0 while all parameters value was lower at ML0. Higher biomass yield (46.89 t/ha) was recorded at ML10, grain yield (7.73 t/ha) at M0 and dry matter yield (14.56 t/ha) at L0. Land equivalent ratio (LER) showed 80.1% efficient at ML10 followed by ML20 (79.2%) while lower at ML40 (35.7%) and the highest monetary advantage value (MVI) was 12,084.00ETB at ML10 followed by ML20. Lablab demonstrated the highest suppressing ability over weed density at ML0. Planting lablab 10-20 days after maize proves efficient land use and profitability. Forage quality analysis of intercrops has to be considered in the future studies.