mixed cropping is the practice of growing of two or more crops simultaneously in the same piece of land
the basic objective in mixed cropping is to minimize the risk and insure against crop failure due to abnormal weather conditions.
the smaller and marginal farmers particularly, in the rain-fed regions can not take the risk of growing specialized crops.
they prefer the farming system called mixed cropping.
advantages of mixed cropping
- the risk of total crop failure due to uncertain weather conditions is reduced
- farmers tend to harvest a variety of products such as cereal, pulses, or vegetables to meet the various requirement of the family.
- due to the complementary effect of component crops, yield of both crops is increased for example wheat and gram
- fertility of the soil is improved by growing two crops simultaneously
- chances of pest infestations are greatly reduced
intercropping is the practice of growing two or more crops simultaneously in the same field in a definite row pattern with the objective of increasing productivity per unit area
intercropping is an improved version of mixed cropping.
all the crop combinations in the mixed cropping can also be practiced in intercropping however the row pattern in the intercropping are definite that is 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3.
it means after one row of the main crop, one, two, or three rows of intercrop can be grown
advantages of intercropping
- it makes better use of natural resources of sunlight, land and water
- it mitigates the effect of soil erosion
- since the seeds of two crops are not mixed before sowing, fertilizers can be added as per the need of the crop
- since the seed maturity of these crops varies, the different crops can be harvested and shelved separately
- the produce of each crop can be marketed and consumed separately