Interspecies Competition, Growth and Yield in Barley-Peanut Intercropping
An experiment was carried out to study the effect of barley/peanut intercropping on the interspecies competition, growth and yield performance of the crops. The barley was considered as main crop and peanut as intercrop. The experiment comprised of four treatments viz., (i) SB, sole barley, (ii) SP, sole peanut, (iii) BP1, barley/peanut alternate intercrop (one row of barely and one row of peanut, alternately) and (iv) BP2, one row of barley with two rows of peanut intercrop. The plant height, leaf number, tiller or branch number per plant, leaf area index, total dry matter per plant and grain or seed yield were significantly affected by the different intercropping systems and were maximum in SB as well as in SP while those were minimum in BP1. Maximum grain yield of peanut (3.21 t ha-1) was harvested from its sole cropping followed by that of BP2 (2.39 t ha-1). The barley yield was declined by 56% in BP2 and that of peanut yield by 26% compared to their respective sole crops. However, intercropping of peanut with barley exhibited a remarkable change in land equivalent ratio (LER). The highest LER (1.18) was obtained from BP2 followed by BP1 (1.07) intercropping, i.e., land-use efficiency was increased by 18% for BP2 and 7% for BP1. The LERs exhibit that both the intercropping systems are encouraging for harvesting more seed yield. Barley equivalent yield (ca. 6.20 t ha-1) was maximum for the BP2 followed by BP1 intercropping (ca. 4.56 t ha-1). The competitive ratio of each stand approached unity indicates that barley-peanut association effectively balanced the competition between both species. These results strongly suggest that peanut can profitably be intercropped with barley as one row of barley with two rows of peanut.
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