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Keywords: Applied Sciences
Agriculture & related technologies
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Due to alarming increase in population and limited resources of Pakistan the rate of increase of food production is very low. This is not sufficient to fulfil the needs of the population. So there is a need to increase production of crops to exploit the efficient use of available resources. To overcome these constraints and challenges, there is a need to change the present cropping system and to develop an economic-based cropping system with new geometric forms for sustainable production and to meet the increasing demand of food, feed and forage by effective utilization of resources. Keeping this in view a field experiment was conducted to evaluate the bio-economic assessment of barley and associated cultures with different geometric arrangements at the Agronomic Research Area, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (Pakistan) during the years 2009-10 and 2010-11. The intercropping systems comprised barley alone, barley + gram, barley + lentil, barley + berseem, barley + linseed, barley + fennel, barley + garden cress (haloon) and barley + garlic, while the geometric arrangements involved 40 cm spaced single rows, 60 cm spaced double row strips and 100 cm spaced four row strips. Each associated culture (intercrop) was also sown as sole crop to calculate the yield advantages and competition functions. Replicated three times the experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with split plot arrangement randomizing the geometric arrangements in main plots and intercropping systems in sub-plots. The net plot size was kept 3.2m x 7m. Results revealed that all associated cultures/intercrops reduced the grain yield of barley (main crop), however, the additional harvest obtained from associated cultures compensated much more than the losses due to associated cultures. The highest net field benefit of Rs. 157736 ha-1 was obtained from barley + garlic intercropping system as against the minimum Rs. (87008 ha-1) form barley + garden cress (haloon) intercropping system. In terms of economic and yield advantages 100 cm spaced four row strips gave highest net income ha-1 than rest of cropping systems under study. Barley appeared to be dominant crop as indicated by its higher values of relative crowding coefficient (RCC), competitive ratio (CR) and positive sign of aggressivity (A). As regard the physiological traits of barley, dry matter (DM), leaf area index (LAI), crop growth rate (CGR) and leaf area duration (LAD) were reduced significantly by various associated cultures/intercrops compared to sole barley. Residual soil organic matter and nitrogen content were improved in all legume intercropping systems as compared to sole barley and non-legume intercropping systems. On the basis of land equivalent ratio (LER), the maximum yield advantage over mono-cropping of barley was recorded in barley + lentil intercropping system. The land equivalent ratio (LER) and area-time equivalent ratio (ATER) for 100 cm spaced four row strips were higher than 60 cm spaced paired row strips or 40 cm spaced single row planting of barley indicating greater biological efficiency of strip plantation than the conventional method of planting of barley. On the basis of feasibility of intercropping in barley and net return, it is recommended that farmers with small holdings can adopt barley + garlic, barley + berseem or barley + lentil intercropping systems under the irrigated conditions of Faisalabad.
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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