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Intercropped Corn–Soyabean Density Studies. I. Yield Complementarity

  • D. H. Putnam (a1), S. J. Herbert (a1) and A. Vargas (a1)

Summary

Intercropped corn and soyabean were grown in a randomized block design (RBD) and a systematic design (SD) in 1981 and 1982 to evaluate total yield, yield complementarity, crop competition and land-use efficiency as affected by corn and soyabean densities. In the RBD, three corn density treatments were applied to corn–corn–soyabean–soyabean, corn–corn–soyabean, and corn–soyabean intercrop row patterns and to monocultures. In the SD, 9 or 10 corn densities were factorially combined with up to 13 soyabean densities in a corn–soyabean row pattern (91 cm spacing). In the RBD, total intercrop yields were similar to corn monoculture yields (60.8 to 62.7 t ha−1 in 1981) in the corn–corn–soyabean and corn–soyabean patterns at high corn densities but were less at low density. The corn–corn–soyabean–soyabean pattern yielded 87% of the corn monoculture at high density in 1982. These results were confirmed in the SD, where total intercrop yields were highly responsive to corn density and poorly responsive to soyabean densities. Both experiments indicated that high corn row densities are needed to maintain yields in corn–soyabean intercrops, possibly higher than the levels studied. Land equivalent ratios were above 1.0 for all but the low density corn–corn–soyabean–soyabean pattern in the RBD. The ability of an intercrop with as many as half the corn rows replaced by soyabean to produce yields similar to corn monoculture indicates a biological complementarity for dry matter production in the mixtures.

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Experimental Agriculture
  • ISSN: 0014-4797
  • EISSN: 1469-4441
  • URL: /core/journals/experimental-agriculture
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