Type: Book

Instant Insights: Intercropping


Dr Laurent Bedoussac



Publication date:

21 February 2023

Length of book:

100 pages

ISBN-13: 9781801464918

Paperback - £37.99
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This collection features four peer-reviewed reviews on intercropping.

The first chapter summarises data from over 50 field experiments undertaken since 2001 on cereal–grain legume intercropping using spring and winter cereal–grain legume intercrops. The chapter addresses the effects of intercropping on yields and quality, the agronomical performance of intercropping and cultivation practices in intercropping.

The second chapter reviews the existing evidence on systems productivity, resource capture and use efficiency, between intercrops and sole crops for maize–legume-dominated cropping systems. The chapter also considers intercropping under different conditions, including those with heightened or reduced levels of moisture and nitrogen.

The third chapter considers the effects of crop rotation and intercropping management practices on soil health, focussing on their impact on crop productivity, soil health enhancement and stability. The chapter also highlights the importance of leguminous crops and soil organic matter in maintaining healthy soils, sustaining crop productivity and enhancing biodiversity.

The final chapter provides an overview of the economic and ecological benefits, challenges and major considerations of implementing alley cropping systems within North America. A case study detailing the performance evaluation of a pecan-cotton alley cropping system is also included.

Table of contents

  • Grain legume–cereal intercropping systems: L. Bedoussac, ENSFEA, INRA AGIR, France; E-P. Journet, CNRS LIPM, INRA AGIR, France; H. Hauggaard-Nielsen, Roskilde University, Denmark; C. Naudin and G. Corre Hellou, Ecole Supérieure d’Agricultures, France; E. S. Jensen, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; and E. Justes, INRA AGIR, France;
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Effects on yields and quality
    • 3 Agronomical performance of intercropping
    • 4 Cultivation practices in intercropping
    • 5 Future trends and conclusion
    • 6 References
  • Intercropping in sustainable maize cultivation: Abeya Temesgen, Shu Fukai and Daniel Rodriguez, The University of Queensland, Australia;
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Intercropping under different conditions: moisture and nitrogen levels
    • 3 Resource capture and use effi ciency in maize-based intercropping: water, nitrogen and light
    • 4 Competition and complementary interactions in maize – legumes intercropping
    • 5 Maize – legume intercropping evaluation
    • 6 Conclusions
    • 7 Where to look for further information
    • 8 References
  • Effects of crop rotations and intercropping on soil health: Gilbert C. Sigua, USDA-ARS, USA;
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Defining soil health
    • 3 Indicators of soil health
    • 4 The roles of soil organic matter in soil health
    • 5 Managing soil health: crop rotation
    • 6 Managing soil health: intercropping
    • 7 Nitrogen fixation and transfer in crop rotation and intercropping
    • 8 Summary and future trends
    • 9 Where to look for further information
    • 10 References
  • Temperate alley cropping systems: Diomy S. Zamora, University of Minnesota, USA; Samuel C. Allen, New Mexico State University, USA; Kent G. Apostol, Independent Researcher and Editor, USA; Shibu Jose, University of Missouri, USA; and Gary Wyatt, University of Minnesota, USA;
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Potential of alley cropping
    • 3 Design considerations
    • 4 Functions/benefits of alley cropping
    • 5 Competition for growth resources
    • 6 Evaluating system performance: the case of the pecan–cotton alley cropping system
    • 7 Future trends and conclusion
    • 8 Where to look for further information
    • 9 References