Effect of fungicide and alfalfa understory with pea-canola intercrop production
1. To determine if pea-canola intercrop out-yields and is more profitable than monocrop peas or
2. To determine if fungicide application is a possible best management practice for disease control
3. To determine the effect of relay cropping alfalfa in pea-canola stands
Peas, canola and alfalfa have potential in organic rotations but their individual yields are limited by competition from weeds, insect pests and diseases. Intercropping can provide several environmental and agronomic benefits that include: amendment of soils through addition of nutrients by the plants themselves at low costs, biological management of insect pests and diseases, conservation of soil moisture and overall increase in grain yield than a sole crop (Wu and Wu, 2014). Most intercropping systems around the globe involving legumes and cereals are beneficial to both crop and livestock systems. Although there are challenges involving machinery use during seeding, separation of seed after harvest and insurance coverage concerns, there is a marked increase in the number of producers that are interested in various intercropping systems as a result of the benefits associated with it.
Research conducted by Szumigalski and Van Acker (2006) showed that pea-canola intercrop systems resulted in consistent land equivalent ratios for grain nitrogen yield and this suggests that intercrops, in particular, pea-canola could be useful for improving nitrogen use efficiency on per land area basis. Apart from pea-canola intercrop, alfalfa-canola can also be another option. Incorporation of a perennial pasture crop may aid in improving productivity and nutrient use efficiency as well as reducing disease incidence
Entire findings are available by downloading the report PDF.