Effect of intercropping pea with canola or yellow mustard

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Langat, Peter Kipkemoi
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Intercropping is a farming practice that has recently received attention as a means of improving land productivity in western Canada. The main reason for such advantage would appear to be that when grown together the component crops complement each other and make better use of environmental resources. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of intercropping pea with yellow mustard or canola on growth and development, and yield of each of the component crops. The crops were planted in both sole and mixed stands. The sole stands of pea were sown at 120 and 180 kg/ha Canola sole stands were sown at 2 and 6 kg/ha whereas those of yellow mustard were 3 and 9 kg/ha. Mixtures were sown at 120 kg/ha of pea with either 2 kg/ha of canola or 3 kg/ha of yellow mustard. 'Century' pea was used in 1990 and 'Bohatyr' pea was used in 1991. 'Westar' canola was used in 1990 and 'Legend' canola was used in 1991. 'Gisilba' yellow mustard was used in both years. In 1990, dry matter accumulation of pea was not affected in the intercrop, while that of both yellow mustard and canola was reduced (significant at p<0.05). In 1991, however, dry matter accumulation of pea was reduced in the intercrop, along with that of yellow mustard and canola (all significant at P<0.05). Pea dry matter was reduced more by yellow mustard than by canola. Yield of pea was reduced by 0.5% and 22% when intercropped with canola and yellow mustard, respectively, in 1990. Yields of pea was reduced by 41% when intercropped with canola, and by 38% when intercropped with yellow mustard in 1991. Yields of canola and yellow mustard were significantly reduced when intercropped with peas in both years. The net return analysis suggested that there was no benefit of intercropping in this study, however, the calculation of Land Equivalent Ratio indicated that more land would be required if the crops were to be planted separately. It can be concluded from this study that pea was dominant over yellow mustard and canola and that mustard was a better competitor compared to canola. Intercropping reduced lodging of pea, increased or reduced thousand seed weight of component crops. Nitrogen fertilization has no effect on pea yields in both years.