Strip intercropping of maize, wheat, pea and faba bean in the Netherlands

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademic


Intercropping is a potential pathway for ecological intensification of high input agriculture. There is, however, a shortage of knowledge about which species combinations and which management for intercropping could be advantageous under western European climate conditions. We therefore conducted a 2 year field experiment in the Netherlands to explore the yield advantages of maize, wheat, pea and faba bean when grown as strip intercrops with conventional management and fertiliser input tailored to species strips. Relative yield total (RYT) of relay strip intercrops with maize was well above one, while RYT of simultaneous intercrops without maize was lower than one. Maize and faba bean dominated in mixtures, with their relative yields exceeding the relative density, while pea had relative yields lower than the relative density. Wheat was overyielding when combined with maize but underyielding when combined with faba bean. The results suggest an important role for complementarity for light capture when crops are managed with sufficient nutrients and water. Under such conditions, intercrops with legumes did not perform better than intercrops without legumes. Faba bean manifested itself as a competitive species that dominated companion species with the same growing period.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntercropping for sustainability
Subtitle of host publicationResearch developments and their application
EditorsJ.N. Aubertöt, I. Bertelsen, C. Bickler, R. Carlton, A. Karley, B. Keillor, A. Newton, M.C. Vaz Patto, C. Scherber, K. Topp, C. Watson
Place of PublicationWellesbourne
PublisherAssociation of Applied Biologists
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2021
EventIntercropping for Sustainability: Research developments and their application - , United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Jan 202120 Jan 2021

Publication series

NameAspects of Applied Biology
ISSN (Print)0265-1491


ConferenceIntercropping for Sustainability
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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