Five diverse sorghum genotypes were sown at sole crop density and at intercrop density without cowpea and with two contrasting cowpea genotypes, in the post-rainy season at Hyderabad, India. The interaction of sorghum genotype with sowing density was significant for sorghum dry fodder and grain yield, but the interaction of sorghum genotype with cowpea was not, because of compensation between yield components. The likely response of sorghum genotypes to intercropping can therefore be assessed initially from the performance of low density sole crops, followed by assessment in the presence of a single standard cowpea variety.
The cowpea genotypes were affected by the presence of sorghum but not by the sorghum genotype. This suggests that the effect on the cowpea can be ignored when selecting a sorghum genotype for intercropping, and that a cowpea genotype for intercropping can be selected in the presence of a single sorghum genotype. However, these conclusions arc unlikely to apply to rainy season sowings, when sorghum dominates the intercrop more completely.