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      Forage sorghum-legumes intercropping: effect on growth, yields, nutritional quality and economic returns

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          Abstract

          ABSTRACT Cereal-legumes intercropping is among the most economical and effective agronomic strategies to boost forage biomass production, nutritional quality and monetary returns. This review synthesizes the research findings on how intercropping affects productivity, quality, competitiveness and economic viability of sorghum-legumes mixed, row and strip intercropping systems under varied pedo-climatic conditions. Though component crops show yield reductions in row (additive and row-replacement series), mixed (seed blended crops) and strip intercropping systems, in general overall productivity per unit land area increases to a great extent. The significantly higher resource capturing with better utilization efficacy by intercrops in temporal and spatial dimensions helps explain their greater productivity. In addition, forage intercrops result in improved nutritional quality as legumes contain protein in double quantity than cereals. Cereal-legumes intercropping systems yield higher quantities of lush green forage with improved quality traits, which ultimately increase monetary benefits. Furthermore, legumes inclusion as an intercrop with cereals has the potential to serve as a nitrogen-saving strategy due to the biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) process. Moreover, cereal-legume intercropping systems are effective in reducing weed infestations and soil erosion by providing extended soil cover, as well as in increasing water use efficiency and improving soil fertility. However, despite a significant increase in overall productivity, component crops suffer yield losses in intercropping systems owing to competition for the finite divisible pool of growth resources. Thus, there is a dire need to optimize spatial and temporal arrangements in sorghum-legumes intercropping systems to achieve maximum productivity and economic returns.

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          Legume versus fertilizer sources of nitrogen: ecological tradeoffs and human needs

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            Maize–grain legume intercropping is an attractive option for ecological intensification that reduces climatic risk for smallholder farmers in central Mozambique

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              Peanut/maize intercropping induced changes in rhizosphere and nutrient concentrations in shoots.

              A greenhouse study was conducted to investigate the rhizosphere effects on iron (Fe), phosphorus (P), nitrogen (N), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), zinc (Zn), and manganese (Mn) nutrition in peanut plants (Arachis hypogaea L.) by intercropping them with maize (Zea mays L.). In addition, we studied the release of phytosiderophores and the ferric reductase activity of roots, pH and acid phosphatases in the rhizosphere and bulk soil, and the secretion of acid phosphatases in roots. Our results revealed that shoot yields of peanut and maize plants were decreased by intercropping the plants, as compared to monocultured plants. Growing peanut plants in a mixture with maize, enhanced the shoot concentrations of Fe and Zn nearly 2.5-fold in peanut, while the Mn concentrations of peanut were little affected by intercropping. In the case of maize, the shoot concentrations of Fe, Zn and Mn were not significantly affected by intercropping with peanut. Intercropping also improved the shoot K concentration of peanut and maize, while it negatively affected the Ca concentration. In the intercropping of peanut/maize, the acid phosphatase activity of the rhizosphere and bulk soil and root secreted acid phosphatases were significantly higher than that of monocultured peanut and maize. In accordance, the shoot P concentrations of peanut and maize plants were much higher when they were intercropped with peanut or maize, respectively. The rhizosphere and bulk soil pH values were not clearly affected by different cropping systems. When compared to their monoculture treatments, the secretion of phytosiderophore from roots and the root ferric reducing capacity of the roots were either not affected or increased by 2-fold by the intercropping, respectively. The results indicate the importance of intercropping systems as a promising management practice to alleviate Fe deficiency stress. Intercropping also contributes to better nutrition of plants with Zn, P and K, most probably by affecting biological and chemical process in the rhizosphere.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Journal
                brag
                Bragantia
                Bragantia
                Instituto Agronômico de Campinas (Campinas, SP, Brazil )
                0006-8705
                1678-4499
                December 2018
                : 78
                : 1
                : 82-95
                Affiliations
                [02] Rawalakot orgnameUniversity of Poonch Rawalakot orgdiv1Department of Horticulture Pakistan
                [06] Dera Ghazi Khan orgnameGhazi University orgdiv1Department of Agronomy Pakistan
                [07] Bahawalpur orgnameIslamia University Bahawalpur orgdiv1Department of Life Sciences Pakistan
                [03] D. G. Khan orgnameGhazi University orgdiv1Department of Horticulture Pakistan
                [01] Rawalakot orgnameUniversity of Poonch Rawalakot orgdiv1Department of Agronomy Pakistan
                [05] Lahore orgnameUniversity of Punjab orgdiv1Institute of Agricultural Sciences Pakistan
                [04] Rawalakot orgnameUniversity of Poonch Rawalakot orgdiv1Department of Food Science and Technology Pakistan
                Article
                S0006-87052019000100082
                10.1590/1678-4499.2017363
                e491561f-0121-4094-b235-d21c8c87d60d

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 99, Pages: 14
                Product
                Product Information: website
                Categories
                Crop Production and Management

                benefit-cost ratio,economics of production,forage quality,land equivalent ratio,row replacement series

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