EVALUATION OF YIELD AND YIELD COMPONENTS OF CORN, BEANS AND POTATO IN A TRIPLE CROP INTERCROPPING SYSTEM AT LOW SOIL NITROGEN

in HortScience

The response of corn, beans and potato was evaluated in a 3 crop intercropping system at constant population density of corn (37,050 plants/ha) and three densities of beans (66,000 132,000 200,000 plants/ha) and potato (13,000, 36,000, 44,000 plants/ha) at low soil nitrogen in 2 seasons. Intercropping at the highest plant densities of beans and potatoes reduced the yield of corn, beans and potatoes by 65, 80 and 51 per cent respectively and produced a land equivalent ratio (LER) of one. The LER increased with decrease in the density of companion crops up to 1.24, indicating that intercropping at lower densities was more beneficial than monocultures. Increasing the density of beans and potatoes reduced corn height, leaf width and size of ears as well as leaf N, P and K. In beans the number of pods per plant was reduced while seeds per plant and seed weight were constant. In potatoes tuber size and numbers per plant declined.. The results indicate that the triple crop density which maximizes yield and income should not exceed 2/3 of optimum bean and potato sole crop densities.

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