Multi-Crop Intercrop trial (Pea-Oats-Canola-Wheat-Flax-Mustard)
Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers Association – Daryl Domitruk
Evaluate agronomic performance of peas in a monocrop or when intercropped with oats, canola, spring wheat, flax or mustard
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 resorted to various intercropping systems with the aim of addressing 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 be one of the ways that can help address climate change in some 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 selfregulating 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.