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Agronomic, forage quality and economic advantages of red pea (Lathyrus cicera L.) intercropping with wheat and oat under low‐input farming

Vlachostergios, D. N., Lithourgidis, A. S., Dordas, C. A.
Grass and forage science 2018 v.73 no.3 pp. 777-788
Avena sativa, Lathyrus cicera, Triticum aestivum, biomass, continuous cropping, crude protein, dominant species, feeds, forage quality, forage yield, intercropping, interspecific competition, low input agriculture, nitrogen, oats, peas, wheat
Red pea–cereal intercropping could provide animal feed with agronomic and economic advantages. The growth rate, forage yield, quality, interspecific competition and financial outcome of intercrops of red pea (Lathyrus cicera L.) with wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and oat (Avena sativa L.) in two different seeding ratios (60:40, 80:20) were estimated. Growth rate of species was lower in the intercrops than in monocrops, especially in red pea–oat intercrops due to the strong competitive ability of oat. Red pea–oat intercrop of 60:40 produced the highest biomass (10.83 Mg/ha) and crude protein yield (1,116 kg/ha). Land equivalent ratio (LER) values were greater for the red pea with wheat (1.13) and oat 60:40 (1.09) indicating an advantage of intercropping in terms of dry‐matter (DM) yield, while red pea:oat 60:40 ranked first for LER for nitrogen yield. Aggressivity and partial actual yield loss indicated cereals as the dominant species. The highest monetary advantage index was recorded for the red pea:wheat 60:40 and the highest intercropping advantage value was recorded for the red pea:oat 80:20. In conclusion, most intercrops of red pea with wheat and oat showed significant advantages relative to their monocrops due to better DM production, resource‐use efficiency and economics under low‐input farming.