Yield and yield components of wheat and maize in wheat-maize intercropping in the Netherlands

Fang Gou, M.K. van Ittersum, Guoyu Wang, P.E.L. van der Putten, Wopke van der Werf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Intercropping is widely used by smallholder farmers in developing countries, and attracting attention in the context of ecological intensification of agriculture in developed countries. There is little experience with intercropping of food crops in Western Europe. Yields in intercrops depend on planting patterns of the mixed species in interaction with local growing conditions. Here we present data of two years field experimentation on yield and yield components of a wheat-maize intercrop system in different planting configurations in the Netherlands. Treatments included sole crops of wheat (SW) and maize (SM), a replacement intercrop consisting of strips of six wheat rows alternating with two maize rows (6:2WM), as well as subtractive or additive designs, based on skip-row (6:0WM, 0:2WM) and add-row (8:2WM, 6:3WM) configurations. The land equivalent ratio (LER) of intercrops varied from 1.18 to 1.30 in 2013 and from 0.97 to 1.08 in 2014. Wheat grown in the border rows of wheat strips had higher ear number per meter row, greater kernel number per ear, and greater yield per meter row than wheat in inner rows and sole wheat, indicating reduced competition. Wheat in the border rows in the intercrops had, however, reduced thousand kernel weight and harvest index, indicating that competition in border rows intensified over time. Intercropping negatively affected maize biomass and thousand kernel weight, especially in add-row treatments. This study indicates that there is a potential yield benefit for the wheat-maize intercropping system under Western European growing conditions. However, the LER was affected by yearly variation in weather conditions and significantly greater than one in only one of the two years of the study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-27
JournalEuropean Journal of Agronomy
Volume76
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

intercropping
yield components
Netherlands
wheat
maize
corn
ears
seeds
planting
crop
smallholder
food crops
Western European region
harvest index
developed countries
developing countries
field experimentation
weather
replacement
developing world

Keywords

  • Border row effect
  • Europe
  • Intercrop configurations
  • LER

Cite this

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title = "Yield and yield components of wheat and maize in wheat-maize intercropping in the Netherlands",
abstract = "Intercropping is widely used by smallholder farmers in developing countries, and attracting attention in the context of ecological intensification of agriculture in developed countries. There is little experience with intercropping of food crops in Western Europe. Yields in intercrops depend on planting patterns of the mixed species in interaction with local growing conditions. Here we present data of two years field experimentation on yield and yield components of a wheat-maize intercrop system in different planting configurations in the Netherlands. Treatments included sole crops of wheat (SW) and maize (SM), a replacement intercrop consisting of strips of six wheat rows alternating with two maize rows (6:2WM), as well as subtractive or additive designs, based on skip-row (6:0WM, 0:2WM) and add-row (8:2WM, 6:3WM) configurations. The land equivalent ratio (LER) of intercrops varied from 1.18 to 1.30 in 2013 and from 0.97 to 1.08 in 2014. Wheat grown in the border rows of wheat strips had higher ear number per meter row, greater kernel number per ear, and greater yield per meter row than wheat in inner rows and sole wheat, indicating reduced competition. Wheat in the border rows in the intercrops had, however, reduced thousand kernel weight and harvest index, indicating that competition in border rows intensified over time. Intercropping negatively affected maize biomass and thousand kernel weight, especially in add-row treatments. This study indicates that there is a potential yield benefit for the wheat-maize intercropping system under Western European growing conditions. However, the LER was affected by yearly variation in weather conditions and significantly greater than one in only one of the two years of the study.",
keywords = "Border row effect, Europe, Intercrop configurations, LER",
author = "Fang Gou and {van Ittersum}, M.K. and Guoyu Wang and {van der Putten}, P.E.L. and {van der Werf}, Wopke",
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Yield and yield components of wheat and maize in wheat-maize intercropping in the Netherlands. / Gou, Fang; van Ittersum, M.K.; Wang, Guoyu; van der Putten, P.E.L.; van der Werf, Wopke.

In: European Journal of Agronomy, Vol. 76, 2016, p. 17-27.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Yield and yield components of wheat and maize in wheat-maize intercropping in the Netherlands

AU - Gou, Fang

AU - van Ittersum, M.K.

AU - Wang, Guoyu

AU - van der Putten, P.E.L.

AU - van der Werf, Wopke

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Intercropping is widely used by smallholder farmers in developing countries, and attracting attention in the context of ecological intensification of agriculture in developed countries. There is little experience with intercropping of food crops in Western Europe. Yields in intercrops depend on planting patterns of the mixed species in interaction with local growing conditions. Here we present data of two years field experimentation on yield and yield components of a wheat-maize intercrop system in different planting configurations in the Netherlands. Treatments included sole crops of wheat (SW) and maize (SM), a replacement intercrop consisting of strips of six wheat rows alternating with two maize rows (6:2WM), as well as subtractive or additive designs, based on skip-row (6:0WM, 0:2WM) and add-row (8:2WM, 6:3WM) configurations. The land equivalent ratio (LER) of intercrops varied from 1.18 to 1.30 in 2013 and from 0.97 to 1.08 in 2014. Wheat grown in the border rows of wheat strips had higher ear number per meter row, greater kernel number per ear, and greater yield per meter row than wheat in inner rows and sole wheat, indicating reduced competition. Wheat in the border rows in the intercrops had, however, reduced thousand kernel weight and harvest index, indicating that competition in border rows intensified over time. Intercropping negatively affected maize biomass and thousand kernel weight, especially in add-row treatments. This study indicates that there is a potential yield benefit for the wheat-maize intercropping system under Western European growing conditions. However, the LER was affected by yearly variation in weather conditions and significantly greater than one in only one of the two years of the study.

AB - Intercropping is widely used by smallholder farmers in developing countries, and attracting attention in the context of ecological intensification of agriculture in developed countries. There is little experience with intercropping of food crops in Western Europe. Yields in intercrops depend on planting patterns of the mixed species in interaction with local growing conditions. Here we present data of two years field experimentation on yield and yield components of a wheat-maize intercrop system in different planting configurations in the Netherlands. Treatments included sole crops of wheat (SW) and maize (SM), a replacement intercrop consisting of strips of six wheat rows alternating with two maize rows (6:2WM), as well as subtractive or additive designs, based on skip-row (6:0WM, 0:2WM) and add-row (8:2WM, 6:3WM) configurations. The land equivalent ratio (LER) of intercrops varied from 1.18 to 1.30 in 2013 and from 0.97 to 1.08 in 2014. Wheat grown in the border rows of wheat strips had higher ear number per meter row, greater kernel number per ear, and greater yield per meter row than wheat in inner rows and sole wheat, indicating reduced competition. Wheat in the border rows in the intercrops had, however, reduced thousand kernel weight and harvest index, indicating that competition in border rows intensified over time. Intercropping negatively affected maize biomass and thousand kernel weight, especially in add-row treatments. This study indicates that there is a potential yield benefit for the wheat-maize intercropping system under Western European growing conditions. However, the LER was affected by yearly variation in weather conditions and significantly greater than one in only one of the two years of the study.

KW - Border row effect

KW - Europe

KW - Intercrop configurations

KW - LER

U2 - 10.1016/j.eja.2016.01.005

DO - 10.1016/j.eja.2016.01.005

M3 - Article

VL - 76

SP - 17

EP - 27

JO - European Journal of Agronomy

JF - European Journal of Agronomy

SN - 1161-0301

ER -