A simulation model of cereal-legume intercropping systems for semi-arid regions II. Model application

Tsubo, M., Walker, S. R. and Ogindo, H. (2005) A simulation model of cereal-legume intercropping systems for semi-arid regions II. Model application. Field Crops Research, 93 1: 23-33. doi:10.1016/j.fcr.2004.09.003

Author Tsubo, M.
Walker, S. R.
Ogindo, H.
Title A simulation model of cereal-legume intercropping systems for semi-arid regions II. Model application
Journal name Field Crops Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-4290
Publication date 2005-07-14
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.fcr.2004.09.003
Volume 93
Issue 1
Start page 23
End page 33
Total pages 11
Place of publication Amsterdam
Publisher Elsevier Science Bv
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
300203 Plant Improvement (Selection, Breeding and Genetic Engineering)
620108 Grain legumes
Abstract Smallholder farmers in Africa practice traditional cropping techniques such as intercropping. Intercropping is thought to offer higher productivity and resource milisation than sole cropping. In this study, risk associated with maize-bean intercropping was evaluated by quantifying long-term yield in both intercropping and sole cropping in a semi-arid region of South Africa (Bloemfontein, Free State) with reference to rainfall variability. The crop simulation model was run with different cultural practices (planting date and plant density) for 52 summer crop growing seasons (1950/1951-2001/2002). Eighty-one scenarios, consisted of three levels of initial soil water, planting date, maize population, and bean population, were simulated. From the simulation outputs, the total land equivalent ratio (LER) was greater than one. The intercrop (equivalent to sole maize) had greater energy value (EV) than sole beans, and the intercrop (equivalent to sole beans) had greater monetary value (MV) than sole maize. From these results, it can be concluded that maize-bean intercropping is advantageous for this semi-arid region. Soil water at planting was the most important factor of all scenario factors, followed by planting date. Irrigation application at planting, November/December planting and high plant density of maize for EV and beans for MV can be one of the most effective cultural practices in the study region. With regard to rainfall variability, seasonal (October-April) rainfall positively affected EV and MV, but not LER. There was more intercrop production in La Nina years than in El Nino years. Thus, better cultural practices may be selected to maximize maize-bean intercrop yields for specific seasons in the semi-arid region based on the global seasonal outlook. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keyword Agronomy
Crop Simulation
Phaseolus Vulgaris
Risk Analysis
Zea Mays
Maize Yield
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 06:04:24 EST