A study of the potential of hedgerow intercropping in semiarid India using a two-way systematic design

Rao, M R and Sharma, M M and Ong, C K (1990) A study of the potential of hedgerow intercropping in semiarid India using a two-way systematic design. Agroforestry Systems, 11 (3). pp. 243-258. ISSN 0167-4366

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The potential of hedgerow intercropping with leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala, K8) was studied on vertic Inceptisols over 4 years at ICRISAT Center, Patancheru, India. The study was conducted using a systematic layout involving different alley widths ranging from 1.35 to 4.95 m and with varying distances between hedge and crops. The alleys were cropped with alternate rows of sorghum and pigeon pea. Hedges composed of double leucaena hedgerows 60 cm apart were periodically harvested for fodder. Sole crops of all components and a sorghum (CSH.9)/pigeon pea (ICP1) intercrop were included in all four replications of the study. Starting in the second year, leucaena was progressively more competitive to annual crops, causing substantial yield reduction. Competition (primarily for moisture) was most severe in narrow alleys and was greatest with pigeon peas. The growth of leucaena was not sufficient to compensate for reduced crop yields. Land equivalent ratios (LERs) calculated on the basis of grain yield of crops and leucaena fodder yields showed that hedgerow intercropping was advantageous over sole crops only during the first two years using wide alleys, but disadvantageous in the last two years. LERs calculated on the basis of total dry matter indicated only a small advantage for hedgerow intercropping (13-17%) over sole crops in wider (>4 m) alleys. Average returns per year from hedgerow intercropping exceeded those of the most productive annual crop system (sorghum/pigeon pea intercropping) by 8% in 4.05-m alleys, and by 16% in 4.95-m alleys. Fodder production during the dry season was 40% of the annual total in these alley widths. It is concluded that hedgerow intercropping at 4-5 m alley width is not very attractive for farmers in semiarid India (annual rainfall 600-700 mm) but that the potential of hedgerow intercropping in wider alleys should be examined. The merits and limitations of using systematic designs for this type of study are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Library ICRISAT
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2011 12:26
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2011 12:27
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/4981
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00045902
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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