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To N-fertilize cereal-legume intercrops or not? (ReMIX Practice abstract)

{Tool} To N-fertilize cereal-legume intercrops or not? (ReMIX Practice abstract). Creator(s): Justes, Eric and Bedoussac, Laurent. Issuing Organisation(s): Cirad - La recherche agronomique pour le développement, ENSEFA - The National Teacher Training School in Agronomy, INRAE - National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, IFOAM EU. ReMIX Practice abstracts, no. 3. (2020)

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Document available online at: https://www.remix-intercrops.eu/content/download/4095/38997/version/1/file/%2312%20Is%20it%20useful%20to%20N%20fertilise%20intercrops%20for%20improving%20their%20yield_final.pdf


Summary

Outcome
Intercropping cereal-legume usually results in a higher cereal grain protein concentration compared to sole crop cereal, and the greatest benefit is always obtained without N-fertilizer.
Practical recommendations
• The efficiency of synthetic N-fertilizer is generally high (> 75% of N applied). It always increases the proportion of cereal in an intercrop with legumes, regardless of the sowing density and pedoclimatic conditions.
• The efficiency of organic N-fertilizer is always low (< 20%), so it is not relevant to apply in organic farming.
• For winter intercrops (e.g. wheat-winter pea), the N fertilization must be adapted and based on the: i) proportion of species observed in March, ii) grain yield targeted, and iii) proportion of the two species expected at harvest. To increase cereal grain yield, N-fertilizer could be applied during stem elongation (40-80 kg N/ha), while to increase the cereal grain protein concentration, it should be applied at earing (30-50 kg N/ha).
• For spring intercrops (e.g. spring barley-spring pea), no N fertilization is generally required, except to ensure a high proportion of cereal grains at harvest by applying N-fertilizer at the end of tillering (30-60 kg N/ha).
Practical testing/ Farmers’ experiences
Farmers should try different N fertilization rates and/or times, for example, in strips across a field, to visually compare the effect of N fertilization on yield, species proportion and cereal grain protein concentration. Start with a small number of rates and/or times (including no fertilizer) and repeat the test for more than a year to improve know-how.


EPrint Type:Practice tool
Teaser:Intercropping with legumes improves protein content of cereals and reduces N fertilization.
What problem does the tool address?:The necessity of nitrogen (N) fertilization of cereal-legume intercrops is debatable since this mixture could benefit from complementary N sources (from soil and atmospheric N2). How to determine the necessity of N fertilizer in intercrop?
What solution does the tool offer?:The relevance of N fertilization depends on the farmer’s objectives in terms of grains proportion between the cereal and the legume at harvest and cereal grain protein concentration.
Country:France
Type of Practice Tool:Practice abstracts
Keywords:cropping systems, diversification, arable farming, low input agriculture, Intercropping, cereal crops, legumes, nitrogen, nutrient management
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
cropping systems
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_1971
English
diversification
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_2344
English
arable farming
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_36528
English
low input agriculture
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_34370
English
intercropping
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_3910
English
cereal crops
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_25512
English
legumes
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_4255
English
nitrogen
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_5192
English
nutrient management
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_330697
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Crop husbandry > Composting and manuring
Research affiliation: European Union > Horizon 2020 > Remix
France > INRAe - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement
France > CIRAD - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement
France > Other organizations
International Organizations > International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM > IFOAM EU Group
H2020 or FP7 Grant Agreement Number:727217
Related Links:https://www.remix-intercrops.eu/, https://www.cirad.fr/, https://www.inrae.fr/en, http://www.enfa.fr/, https://www.organicseurope.bio/
Deposited By: De Simone, Dr. Ambra
ID Code:39712
Deposited On:21 Apr 2021 08:49
Last Modified:10 May 2021 11:31
Document Language:English
Status:Published

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