Analysis of yield advantage in mixed cropping

R. Ranganathan

    Research output: Thesisexternal PhD, WU


    <p>It has long been recognized that mixed cropping can give yield advantages over sole cropping, but methods that can identify such yield benefits are still being developed. This thesis presents a method that combines physiological and economic principles in the evaluation of yield advantage. A production possibility frontier, drawn from economics literature, represents the maximum yield combinations that can be obtained from intercropping. Inter- and intra-specific competition for resources determine yield in mixed cropping. Production possibility frontiers have been derived using such <em>a priori</em> knowledge of the processes underlying mixed cropping, thereby facilitating economic and agronomic analyses of yield advantage. The analytical procedure used in such analyses is illustrated for various crop mixtures.<p>The assumption underlying the derivation of a production possibility frontier is the hyperbolic relationship between yield and plant density. This assumption cannot always be made for marketable yield. Per-plant marketable yield and total dry matter relationships are explored and used to derive production possibility frontiers.<p>When annuals are cropped with perennials, the strongly competitive perennial often dominates, effecting a significant yield reduction in the annual. Management seeks to alter the competitive relationships of the perennial and annual towards a more equitable distribution of resources. A strategy for managing the perennial, on the basis of its competitive strength, by relating yield loss in the annual to the relative leaf area of the perennial in the mixture is described.<p>Field experiments with groundnut ( <em>Arachis hypogaea</em> ) intercropped with perennial pigeonpea ( <em>Cajanus cajan</em> ) <em></em> and the analysis of yield advantage from this cropping system are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • de Wit, C.T., Promotor
    • Ong, C.K., Co-promotor, External person
    Award date13 Jan 1993
    Place of PublicationS.l.
    Print ISBNs9789054850335
    Publication statusPublished - 1993


    • mixed cropping
    • intercropping
    • multiple cropping
    • interplanting
    • yield increases
    • yield losses
    • yields


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