Multi-Crop Intercrop trial (Pea-Oat-Canola-Wheat-Flax-Mustard)
Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers Association – Daryl Domitruk
PCDF (Roblin), WADO (Melita)
Evaluate agronomic performance of peas in a monocrop or when intercropped with
oats, canola, spring wheat, flax or mustard.
At Roblin, pea-oat intercrop had a net revenue of $214, which was the highest but was not significantly different from revenue obtained from pea-wheat, pea-canola and pea-mustard (Table 13). However, pea-flax and pea sole had significantly (P=0.001) low net revenue of -$80 and $39, respectively, compared to other intercrop options. This implies that, selection of pea-flax intercrop results in significant losses by the producer under Roblin conditions in 2020.
Choice of an intercropping system depends on many factors including: weather, machinery available for
seeding, harvesting and separation of seed, economics and compatibility of the crops involved. Many
organic agriculture farmers have turned to various intercropping systems to address weed and disease
pressure, which often inhibits organic systems under monoculture situations (Pridham and Entz, 2007).
Scientists have been advocating for ways to counteract effects of climate change. Intercropping systems can help address climate change in ways such as biological control of insect pests, weeds and diseases.
Biological control allows for less use of synthetic chemicals hence addressing the chemical resistance
issues. Another benefit of intercropping is improving soil health at low cost considering residual nitrogen
if a legume is included. In other studies, pea-wheat intercropping systems have been shown to be
efficient in the use of nitrogen due to their spatial self-regulating dynamics, which allows pea to improve
its interspecific competitive ability in fields with lower soil nitrogen and vice versa for wheat (Andersen
et al., 2004 and Ghaley et al., 2005). This enables future options to reduce synthetic nitrogen inputs and
negative environmental impacts of crop production. Compared to pea sole crop, pea-oats intercrop
results in reduced pea lodging because of the support provided by oats to the pea crop, this also helps
reduce harvesting difficulties and increase economic returns (Kontturi et al., 2010). This study evaluated
various intercrop combinations that can be utilized by producers in different areas of production.
Entire findings are available by downloading the report PDF.