Intercropping provides opportunity to harness available resources. Thus, maize intercropped with soybean or peanut (groundnut) was tested with 1 : 1, 1 : 2, and 1 : 5 row proportions along with sole plantings of each crop to measure resource capture and resource-use efficiency. Results revealed that sole peanut had 60% higher maize-equivalent yield and 55% better production efficiency, followed by the 1 : 5 row proportion of maize–peanut, over sole maize. Intercropping increased land-use efficiency by 17–53% and land-equivalent coefficient by 0.21–0.56. The relative crowding coefficient was 39% higher with 1 : 2 maize–soybean, whereas the monetary advantage index was the highest (US$107) with the 1 : 5 maize–peanut. Nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) uptakes by maize were 42.9% and 38.2%, respectively, higher with 1 : 5 maize–soybean, whereas phosphorus (P) uptake was 64% higher with 1 : 5 maize–peanut. However, the least amounts of N, P and K were mined overall with 1 : 5 of maize–soybean. Soil moisture content was improved by 24% and solar radiation interception by 37.8% with soybean alone over maize alone, and these parameters increased with higher row proportions of soybean. The energy parameters also improved with the 1 : 5 row proportions of maize–soybean or peanut intercropping. This study provides a basis for efficient resource use by maize–soybean (or peanut) intercropping system.
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Vol. 67 • No. 5