Effect of intercrop and crop geometry on productivity, economics, energetics and soil-fertility status of maize (Zea mays)-based intercropping systems
*Present Addresses: C.P.R., Berhampur, P.O. Krupasindhupur via Nimakhandi, Dist. Ganjam, Orissa 761 001 September 2006]
A field experiment was conduced during the rainy seasons of 2003 and 2004 at Kalimela, Orissa, to study the effect of intercrops and crop geometry on productivity, economics, energetics and soil-fertility status of maize (Zea mays L.)-based intercropping systems under rainfed condition. Intercrop blackgram (Phaseolus mungo L.) followed by soybean [Glycine max (L). Merr.] was found better than groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.), whereas the row ratio 1:1, followed by 2:2 proved better than 2:1 with respect to productivity, economics and energy output. Maize with soybean and blackgram with maize significantly recorded he highest maize-grain equivalent yield of 25.7 and 11.8q/ha at 1:1 row ratio respectively. Among various intercropping systems, maize+blackgram at 1:1 row ratio significantly achieved the maximum maize-grain equivalent yield (37.5 q/ha), land-equivalent ratio (1.68), area-time equivalent ratio (1.61), monetary advantage index (9,102), net return (Rs 10,511/ha), return/rupee invested (1.84) and energy output (144.2, 1000 MJ/ha) compared to sole maize and blackgram. Maize+soybean at 1:1 row ratio closely followed this system on the above aspects. Groundnut proved compatible, remunerative and less competitive with maize at 2:2 ratio rather than at 1:1 and 2:1 row ratios. Intercropping increased available soil N and decreased both soil P and K compared to initial and available soil N, P and K content after sole maize at both the systems of sowing. Available soil N, P and K content varied with the kind of intercrops. However, maize+soybean followed by maize+blackgram recorded the highest available soil N at 1:1 row ratio and available soil P and K at 2:1 row ratio among various intercropping systems.
Maize, Blackgram, Soybean, Groundnut, Productivity, Economics, Energetics, Soil N, P and K.