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Light Use, Water Uptake and Performance of Individual Components of a Sorghum/Groundnut Intercrop

  • S. N. Azam-Ali (a1), R. B. Matthews (a1), J. H. Williams (a1) and J. M. Peacock (a1)

Summary

The productivity of each component of a sorghum/groundnut intercrop and its constituent sole crops is determined in terms of a ‘Crop Performance Ratio’ (CPR) defined as the productivity of an intercrop per unit area of ground compared with that expected from sole crops sown in the same proportions. The CPR allows productivity, intercepted radiation and seasonal transpiration to be compared so that conversion coefficients for radiation (e; g MJ−1) and dry matter/water ratios (q; g kg−1) can be calculated for each intercrop component and its constituent sole crops. In this experiment, CPR for total dry weight in the intercrop was 1.08 and that for reproductive yield was 1.27. These advantages in overall productivity and yield were typical of those reported elsewhere for sorghum/groundnut intercrops. The proportional increase in total dry matter in the intercrop was largely a result of its greater interception of radiation. The further advantage in reproductive yield was a consequence of an improved harvest index in the sorghum component of the intercrop (0.64) compared with that of its sole crop counterpart (0.55).

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