A Preliminary Investigation into the Effect of Intercropping on Insect Pests’ Infestation and Fruit Quality of Okra, Abelmoschus esculentus
*Timothy.T. Epidi1, and H. Okolie2
1Department of Crop Production Technology, Niger Delta University, PMB 071, Yenagoa, Nigeria.
2Department of Crop Science, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, PMB 5080, Nkpolu, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
*Corresponding Author’s Email: email@example.com
Accepted on December 1, 2008
Four different intercropping patterns involving okra with pepper and maize were assessed for their effects on major insect pests of okra during the wet and dry seasons of 2006. During both seasons, the flea beetles, Podagrica uniformis and Nisotra sjostedti were the most abundant. The sole okra crop had the highest infestation of all the okra insect pests in both seasons except Sylepta derogata during the wet season; and had the most perforated leaves as well as blemished pods. It however had the highest pod weight. The strip row pattern was next to the sole pattern in both flea beetle infestation and okro yield but produced better quality pods. It also had the highest land equivalent ratio (L.E.R) of 2.2 and 1.62 during the wet and dry seasons respectively, indicating that it had inter-cropping advantage over the other planting patterns. The double alternate rows and scattered patterns were least effective in terms of okra yield but the pod quality was as good as in the strip pattern.