Production potential, biological feasibility and economic viability of maize (Zea mays)-based intercropping systems under rainfed conditions of Kashmir valley

Umeed Singh, A A Saad, S R Singh


A field experiment was conducted during the rainy (kharif) seasons of 2006 and 2007 at the Regional Research Station, Wadura, Sopore (Jammu and Kashmir) to evaluate the production potential, biological feasibility and economic viability of intercropping of maize [Zea mays (L.)] with frenchbean [Vigna vulgaris (L.)], cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp], soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] and greengram [Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek] under 2-row proportions (1:1 and 2:2). The grain yield of sole maize was higher than the intercropping but the total grain equivalent yield of maize was highest (4.87 tonnes/ha) in maize + frenchbean ( 2:2 ) intercropping system. Intercropping of maize with frenchbean in 2:2 row proportion gave maximum monetary advantage (Rs 6 586/ha), net returns (Rs 16 462/ha), incomeequivalent ratio (1.38) and benefit : cost ratio (1.96) over other intercropping systems. This treatment accounted for maximum land-equivalent ratio (1.36), product of relative crowding co-efficient (K&gt8.99) and area-time equivalent ratio (1.32) and also indicated a modest competitive ratio (2.16 : 0.47) and aggressivity factor (±0.97) which proved the most efficient system. Intercropping increased available soil N and decreased both soil P and K compared to initial and available soil N, P and K content after sole maize at both the systems of sowing. Available soil N, P and K content varied with the kind of intercrops. However maize+soybean, followed by maize+cowpea system recorded the highest available soil N. P and K among various intercropping system.


Competition functions; Intercropping; Maize; Pulses; Soil fertility

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