Possibilities of legume-cereal intercropping to increase self-sufficiency with animal fodder in organic farming

Intercropping of grain legumes and cereals is of special interest in organic farming to increase and stabilise yield levels, reduce weed pressure and sustain plant health. On animal husbandry farms, pea-cereal mixtures may be an interesting crop for green fodder as well as for concentrates. Increasing the self-sufficiency of fodder is in line with the principles of organic agriculture, and reduces the risks related to import of soyprotein, that it may be polluted with GM soya. In 2009 on five certified organic farms, controlled field trials (FT) were conducted with field pea, spring barley and spring wheat in monocultures and mixtures (pea : cereal ratio 60:40). Hay yields were recorded at pea growth phases BBCH 79 and 83. In 2008 and 2009, plot trials (PT) with intercropped peas and spring cereals (wheat, barley) were conducted. Varieties and pea-cereal combinations were screened to evaluate the suitability of the varieties for intercropping, and the best pea to cereal ratio in the seed mixture. Results show that intercropping peas and spring cereals may produce high yields of green fodder.

Šarapatka, Bořivoj, ed. 3rd scientific conference: theme: New findings in organic farming research and their possible use for Central and Eastern Europe: Prague 2011 [CD-ROM]. 1st ed. Olomouc: Bioinstitut, 2011. s 62–66. ISBN 978-80-87371-14-5. Dostupné také z: http://www.bioinstitut.cz/documents/sbornikabstrakt2011_web.pdf.