in HortScience

Intercropping is a management system that maximizes production per unit area of land. Intercropping has to be carried out with crops that are compatible in order to ensure increased productivity. An intercropping study was conducted to determine a suitable planting pattern for corn (Zea mays), an overstory crop, and sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas), an under-story crop. Five relative planting dates were established for each component crop (3 week; before, 3WB; 2 weeks before, 2WB; simultaneous, SIM; 2 weeks after, 2WA; and 3 weeks after, 3WA planting the other crop). Monocrop of each component was also planted. The marketable yields of sweetpotato were reduced by 48, 57, 75, 76 and 74% when sweetpotato was intercropped with corn and planted 3WB, 2WB, SIM, 2WA and 3WA corn, respectively. Corn grain yields were reduced 28, 28, 26, 57, and 66% when intercropped with sweetpotato beginning 3WB, 2WB, SIM, 2WA and 3WA sweetpotato, respectively. Although yields of individual component crop were reduced in intercrop, there was no significant difference in land utilization. Land equivalent ratio, area time equivalent ratio, and competition ratio were not significantly affected by planting date. Intercropping corn and sweetpotato was compatible when both crops were simultaneously planted.

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