What is intercropping in agriculture

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What is Intercropping?

  • Definition. Intercropping is a farming method that involves planting or growing more than one crop at the same time and on the same piece of land.
  • Types of Intercropping. …
  • Benefits of Intercropping. …

Intercropping involves cultivating two or more crops in a field simultaneously. In addition to cash crops, cover crops are also sometimes used in intercropping. This practice has regained attention worldwide, particularly in the tropics due to its beneficial effects on soil fertility and nutrient cycling. …

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Answer

What is intercropping?

What is Intercropping? Intercropping refers to planting one or more crop in close proximity. Farming is the main economic activity in most communities around the world. Almost all of the world’s population depends on agriculture for survival.

Does intercropping improve crop production efficiency and yield improvement?

Intercropping systems, including the solar corridor cropping system (SCCS), have been predominantly evaluated for crop production efficiency, yield improvement, and economic benefits for the overall farming enterprise ( Deichman, 2009; Khan et al., 2014 ).

Is intercropping an alternative to monocultures?

The intensification of monocultures has led to the degradation of soil systems worldwide, but the emergence of intercropping practices may provide a key alternative to restabilizing sustainable food production.

What is the difference between row planting and intercropping?

Strip intercropping is a more industrialized version of row planting and involves the planting of different crops in alternate strips, with rows big enough to allow for harvesting with machinery. Mixed intercropping involves growing more than one crop simultaneously without any distinct row arrangement.

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What is Intercropping? – Definition from Maximum Yield


Intercropping – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics


What is intercropping in agriculture?

Intercropping is defined as the agronomic practice of growing two or more crops on the same field at the same time. Crops selected for intercropping normally have different abilities to use the resources available for growth, which leads to yield advantages and increased stability compared to a single crop in a low input system. The use of high-yielding cultivars, increased mechanization, and increased fertilizer and pesticide use eliminated intercropping from most farming systems, with the exception of some regions in Africa and Asia (maize and cowpeas) or crops intercropped with agroforestry systems. The principles of crop models are also applied in intercropping models to show how different species combine and compete for light, water, and nutrients (Corre-Hellou et al., 2009 ).


Why is intercropping important for fruit?

Intercropping should provide good management in vacant spaces in young orchards to benefit kiwifruit growth by water and soil conservation, weed control, improvement of the orchard environment and soil fertility, as well as increasing economic benefits before fruit production through full use of the land. From: Kiwifruit, 2016.


What are the benefits of intercropping?

The major benefits of intercropping are (1) increasing the rate of crop production , with the advantage of simultaneously decreasing the risk of total crop reduction, and (2) control ling weeds ( Liebman and Dyck, 1993 ).


Is intercropping cassava good for the virus?

Intercropping is widely practiced by cassava growers in Africa, but is less frequent in the more commercially oriented production systems of Latin America and Asia. Several experimental studies have investigated the potential beneficial effect of intercropping on cassava virus control in Africa. Although some have suggested that there are significant benefits in intercropping either maize or cowpeas with cassava (Fondong, Thresh, & Zok, 2002 ), the benefits appear to be unpredictable and vary depending on the pattern of planting and mixture ( Fargette & Fauquet, 1988 ). Perhaps in view of these mixed results, intercropping has not generally been advocated for the control of cassava viruses.


What is intercropping

Intercropping is a method or technique of planting which is also called multiple cropping. One of the main purposes of intercropping is to be able to save more yield on a plot of land by planting one or more types of crops or multiple cropping.


What are the benefits of intercropping

How does intercropping help in planting and what are its benefits? According to the study, intercropping helps through pest control or pest management. Isn’t it one of our goals when we plant something to avoid pests? The importance of intercropping is that it can prevent or protect crops from pests.


How to do intercropping

The following video will explain and will serve as a guide on how to do intercropping.


What is intercropping in agriculture?

Intercropping is a method of growing more than one crop in the same piece of land during the same crop season. It has many advantages, related to the complementary use of environmental resources by the component crops. This results in increased and better nutrient recycling in the soil, stable yields, better control of pests …


What are the benefits of intercropping?

The major benefit of intercropping is it increases the production per unit area compared to single cropping through the effective use of resources, nutrients including water, and solar energy .


What is filler cropping?

Filler Cropping: It a method of cropping in which newly established orchards are planted with other filler crops in the juvenile period of the main crop for efficient utilization of space and to earn some extra profits. 12.


How to grow tall growing crops?

Grow tall-growing crops along with bushy crops. Select shallow-rooted crops as intercrops in the deep-rooted crop. Long-duration crops should be intercropped with short-duration crops. Grow slow-growing crops in vacant spaces of fast-growing crops.


What is the difference between base crop and intercrop?

The base crop is one that grown as a main source of income in between the main crop vacant spaces we will plant intercrop to get extra returns. Intercrop: It is the growing of a crop in the vacant spaces of another widely grown crop that has a short duration of life cycle mainly grown for getting extra profits or to mitigate …


What is an alley crop?

Alley cropping is a kind of agroforestry system where intercrops are grown in the alleys of trees and hedges etc. 9. Guard Crops: The main crop is grown in the center, where it is surrounded by hardy or thorny crops. Thus the main crop gets protection with the help of gourd crops.


What is alternating rows?

Maize and legumes in alternating rows (serc.carleton.edu) It is a kind of intercropping where different crops are grown at the same time in the same piece of land with a distinct row arrangement. 3.


What is intercropping in agriculture?

Intercropping is the practice of growing different crops in between each other on the same plot of land in the same season. This is a contrasting system to monoculture farming, where the same crop is planted across several hectares of land – think of the rolling corn fields of middle America, stretching out as far as the eye can see, …


How does intercropping help cash crops?

Protection of the cash crop: Intercropping utilises the secondary crop to repel or trap pests, attract beneficial insects, protect from winds, or provide shelter from extra sunlight to the primary cash crop. Additionally, this kind of “natural” pest management reduces chemical applications and saves costs. ‍.


Why is intercropping important?

Successful intercropping carries many economic and environmental benefits over its monocropping counterpart. By fostering symbiotic relationships between different crops, the reliance on chemical inputs can be reduced while producing plenty of food.


What are some examples of row cropping?

A good example of this kind of system is chickpea and upland rice.


What is an alley crop?

Alley Cropping. The alley cropping system involves growing crops between trees, bushes, or hedges that form alleys. The taller plants protect the shorter ones from winds and strong direct sunlight, as well as prevent soil erosion with their deep and resilient root systems.


What are some examples of perennial annual intercropping?

An example of a good perennial-annual intercropping combination is garlic and tomatoes. In more tropical regions, coffee and banana make a popular perennial-perennial combination. However, there are many other combinations beyond this that are worth exploring.


How many rows are there in a row crop?

Row Cropping. Plants are arranged in rows, including either single or multiple rows. There are studies recommending four maize rows with six soybean ones, for example. A common and beneficial combination in this configuration is a cereal-legume combination, like corn and beans.


What is intercropping in agriculture?

The intercropping system employs growing several species in-between each other during the same season, alternatively to monoculture farming. Intercropping practices differ in the arrangement, sowing time, and plant combinations. Thus, perennials can grow together with other perennials or annuals, and annuals can grow with other annuals.


Why is intercropping important?

Reasons for intercropping include saving space and resources, ensuring better yields in case of poor returns of the main culture, repelling pests, reducing weeds, proving nutrients for the neighboring plants, among others. Considering intercropping pros and cons, many landowners opt for the method even though it involves additional field treatment. Nonetheless, wise matches in intercropping combinations bring positive results.


What is relay intercropping?

Relay intercropping reduces temporal overlap in harvesting different species, but the second crop must be tolerant of the shade of the first one.


How does intercropping affect soil fertility?

Reduction of fertilizer applications. When intercropping cultures contribute to soil fertility, they spare the necessity to apply synthesized fertilizers. More efficient use of natural resources like water and solar energy as they are distributed to secondary crops as well. Improved weed management.


What is row cropping?

Row Cropping. As the name suggests, plants are arranged in rows in this case. A common and beneficial combination is cereals with legumes like corn and beans. Row ratios may vary, including either single or multiple rows. A study recommends four maize rows with six soybean ones.


Why do people intercrop?

Reasons for intercropping include saving space and resources, ensuring better yields in case of poor returns of the main culture, repelling pests, reducing weeds, proving nutrients for the neighboring plants, among others. Considering intercropping pros and cons, many landowners opt for the method even though it involves additional field treatment.


What is an alley crop?

Alley Cropping. The alley cropping system suggests growing crops in-between trees, bushes, or hedges forming alleys. The aspects of alley cropping are as follows. Higher plants protect the lower ones from winds and shelter from extra sunlight as well as prevent soil erosion with their vigorous root systems.


Transformations in agricultural practices and the rise of monocultures

The rapid acceleration of population growth has led to an associated increase in food demand, in turn requiring more areas of arable land to farm systems and higher productivity from existing ones. In response, agricultural production has focused on implementing largescale monoculture systems of key crops.


The benefits of intercropping as an alternative to monocultures

In a 2020 chapter on the benefits of intercropping, Samantha Glaze-Corcoran et al., discussed the trade-offs associated with culturing methods, demonstrating that intercropping generates higher yields per land unit than monocultures, and also provides a reduced risk of crop failure, and greater resilience to market fluctuation


Types and functions of intercropping systems

To date, intercropping has been further subdivided into four main types that offer similar but varying benefits depending on crop types, environment, and objectives.


Future directions for intercropping in the face of global climate change and increased food demand

The advent of global climate change has exacerbated the growing insecurity related to food production, with crop yields expected to decline in the future despite the rise in food demand.


What is intercropping in gardening?

Stoner. Intercropping is an all-encompassing term for the practice of growing two or more crops in close proximity: in the same row or bed, or in rows or strips that are close enough for biological interaction . Mixed cropping, companion planting, relay cropping, interseeding, overseeding, underseeding, …


Why is intercropping important?

Finally, intercropping may allow more effective management of cover crops .


What are the advantages of intercropping?

First, an intercrop may use resources of light, water, and nutrients more efficiently than single crops planted in separate areas, and this can improve yields and income. Second, crop mixtures frequently have lower pest densities, especially of insect pests.


Why is it important to plant crops in alternate rows?

Planting crops in alternate rows or strips greatly simplifies management and captures some of the benefits of intercropping for pest control.


Does intercropping increase resource capture?

It may do little, however, to increase resource capture by the crops, unless alternating strips are close together. Intercropping also poses a special problem for crop rotation. One fundamental principle of crop rotation is the separation of plant families in time.


Is intercropping free?

The advantages of intercropping, however, do not come for free. Intercropping systems require additional management. They often call for careful timing of field operations, and they may necessitate special interventions to keep competition between the intercropped species in balance.


What are the different types of intercropping?

There are a few types of intercropping, by definition: 1 Row Planting: When you have at least two types of vegetable with at least one in rows. 2 Mixed Intercropping: Otherwise known as basic interplanting, involves mixing crops in any available space when you plant two crops together and do not use rows, such as when you have two different sized plants. 3 Relay Planting: When you sow a second crop in time to mature after a first crop has produced.


How does intercropping help with pests?

Intercropping can lower the amount of pests in your garden in a few ways. Some are chemical repellents that confuse and dissuade pests from entering the area. Others create a physical barrier so the pest can’t get to the other plant. Trap cropping (technically another interplanting) encourages pests to gather.


What is interplanting in gardening?

Interplanting is the practice of planting a fast-growing crop between a slower-growing one to make the most of your garden space. It is also known as intercropping, which has the same definition of interplanting. When you Interplant flowers and vegetables, it lets you grow different kinds of crops and minimizes the space where weeds can grow. …


What is the difference between row planting and mixed intercropping?

Row Planting: When you have at least two types of vegetable with at least one in rows. Mixed Intercropping: Otherwise known as basic interplanting, involves mixing crops in any available space when you plant two crops together and do not use rows, such as when you have two different sized plants.


What crops can you intercrop?

The shade is another factor to take into consideration when planning to intercrop. Tall and broad-leaf crops can have lettuce, spinach or celery underneath. Alternate spring, summer, and autumn crops so you can successively harvest different veggies. Certain plants can also help your garden repel pests.


Why do we interplant flowers?

When you Interplant flowers and vegetables, it lets you grow different kinds of crops and minimizes the space where weeds can grow. Intercropping enables you to boost the health of all plants because it can enhance soil fertility and cooperation among different plants .


Excerpt

I ntercropping—growing two or more crops at the same time on a single field—is an ancient practice still used in much of the developing world.


Footnotes

Stephen Machado is an agronomist at the Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center, Oregon State University, Pendleton, Oregon.

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