Plant and Nitrogen Yield of Barley-Field Pea Intercrop in Cryoboreal-Subhumid Central Alberta
- R. C. Izaurralde ,
- N. G. Juma and
- W. B. McGill
Growing legumes with cereals may increase both yield and protein of livestock-feed crops as well as the quantity of N returned to soil. This study examined: (i) if barley-field pea intercropping has advantage over sole barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) for grain and N yield and (ii) the interactions between fertilizer N and seeding densities of barley and field pea (Pisum sativum L.). In 1986 and 1987, crop and N yields of barley and barley-pea were compared on a Malmo silt loam (Typic Cryoboroll) and a Breton loam (Typic Cryoboralf)- In 1987, fertilizer N (0 and 80 kg N ha−1) and seeding density (0, 86,172, 258 seeds m−2 of barley; and 0, 25, 50, 75 seeds m−2 of field pea) effects on intercrop yield were determined on the Malmo soil. In 1986, intercropped-barley yields at both sites were similar to sole crop yields due to low pea competition; but in 1987, they were 35 to 40% lower than sole crop yields. In three of four location-years, grain-N yield was higher in the intercrop than in sole barley. Nitrogen returned to soil in barley-pea residues was at least 22%higher than in barley straw. Of the intercrop components, only barley-straw yield increased when fertilized with 80 kg N ha−1. Peagrain yields were not affected by barley seeding rates; but barley yields decreased linearly when pea density increased from 0 to 75 seeds m−2. Fertilizer N did not interact with seeding densities of barley and pea. Area × Time Equivalent Ratios indicated an advantage of intercropping over sole cropping in N but not in plant yield. Barley-pea intercrops, each species seeded at half its sole rate, appear to increase N production in grain and straw over sole cropping under both soil-climate conditions.
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