Intercropping is a method of crop production which ensures high yield. It is a practice of growing two or more than two crops simultaneously on the same field. By following intercropping, farmers can reduce soil erosion, pests and disease incidence and increase space, fertilizers and water use efficiency.
One of the common examples of an intercrop is soybean with maize. Soybean is a leguminous crop that fixes nitrogen in the soil and maize is a nitrogen-intensive crop, hence they complement each other. Moreover, planting them together helps to disrupt the cycle of pests and diseases that specifically target one crop.
Planting maize and soybeans together helps to increase space use efficiency. They have different growth habits and root structures. Maize has a fibrous root system while soybeans’ taproots can help to improve soil aeration and drainage, thus overall productivity increases.
That’s why intercropping can help to improve soil health, water use efficiency, fertilizer use efficiency, water use efficiency, suppress weeds, pests and diseases and increase overall productivity.
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