Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 7, Issue 1,2009
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Forage yield and quality in intercropping of maize with different legumes as double-cropped


Abdollah Javanmard 1*, Adel Dabbagh Mohammadi Nasab 2, Aziz Javanshir 2, Mohammad Moghaddam 2, Hosein Janmohammadi 3

Recieved Date: 2008-09-12, Accepted Date: 2008-12-15


Field experiments were carried out at the Agricultural Research Station, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Iran, in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 growing seasons. Two maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids (704, 301), vetch (Vicia villosa), bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia), berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) and common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) sole crops as well as intercrops of maize hybrids with each of the legumes were used to evaluate the effects of legumes on forage yield and quality. The experiment was carried out as randomized complete block design with three replications. The results showed that intercropping systems had a significant effect on the dry matter yield, crude protein (CP) yield, ash content, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) concentration. The CP yield, dry matter yield and ash content of maize forage increased by intercropping as compared with the maize monoculture. Also intercropping of legumes with maize significantly reduced NDF and ADF content, thus increasing digestibility of the forage. The highest and lowest NDF and ADF content were achieved in maize hybrid (704) monoculture, intercropping of maize hybrid (301) with bitter vetch, vetch and bean, respectively. In all intercropping treatments, land equivalent ratios (LER) were well above 1 indicating yield advantages for intercropping. It can be concluded that maize-legumes intercrops could substantially increase forage quantity and quality and decrease requirements for protein supplements as compared with the maize monocultures.


Maize, intercropping, quality forage, crude protein yield, DM yield, legume

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2009
Volume: 7
Issue: 1
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 163-166

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