Intercropping (IC) cereals and legumes could be an option for obtaining forage suitable for ensiling and enabling reduced N fertilization. Two experiments were performed in central Italy with durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) and field bean (Vicia faba L. var. minor) grown for forage production in IC and as sole crops (SC) with different N rates (20 and 50 kg ha−1) and row ratios (1:1 and 2:1 cereal/legume). The aims were to assess (i) whether IC is a feasible option to reduce N fertilization; (ii) the best combination of practices to obtain forage suitable for ensiling; and (iii) competition/facilitation effects exerted by field bean on durum wheat. Results showed IC allowed fertilizer-N reduction and led to improved forage yield with better quality, compared with SC. Land equivalent ratio indicated a high efficiency of the IC, by up to 26% with respect to SC. Field bean was the dominant species of IC, but N fertilization reduced its competitive ability and enhanced that of wheat. In the intercrop fertilized with 50 kg N ha−1, the proportion of the wheat in the herbage (0·34–0·41 of the total dry matter) was sufficient for ensiling of the forage mass. Field bean exerted both competition and facilitation effects on the cereal. N uptake of durum wheat was greater under IC with beans than as wheat SC.
|Autori:||Mariotti M; Masoni A; Ercoli L; Arduini I|
|Titolo:||Optimizing forage yield of durum wheat/field bean intercropping through N fertilization and row ratio|
|Anno del prodotto:||2012|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1111/j.1365-2494.2011.00839.x|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|