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The Competitive Ability of Intercropped Soybean in Two Row Ratios of Maize-Soybean Relay Strip Intercropping

Row ratios directly affect inter-specific competition and crop yield in intercropping system. The objective of this research was to determine the inter-specific competition ability of intercropped soybean between intercrops in different row ratios planting patterns. A two-year field experiment was conducted from 2012 to 2013 in maizesoybean relay strip intercropping systems with two row ratios (1M:1S row ratio with the distance between maize and soybean was 50cm; 2M:2S row ratio with the distance between maize and soybean was 60cm, respectively). We found that, competitive ratio, partial relative crowding and aggressivity values of intercropped soybean were increased with the increasing of the maize and soybean row distance (from 50 cm to 60cm). Furthermore, the highest values of yield, land equivalent ratio (LER), system productivity index, actual yield loss, monetary advantage index and intercropping advantage were also obtained in 2M:2S row ratio. The partial relative crowding value of maize was increased with the increasing of the maize/soybean row ratios, however, the competitive ratio and aggressivity values of maize had a decline trend. These results showed that, the maize/soybean with row ratio of 2M:2S increased the distance between maize and soybean, led to the decline of inter-specific competition and thus enhance of competitive ability of intercropped soybean. Therefore, the maize/soybean with row ratio of 2M:2S intercropping planting pattern had a high yield of intercropped soybean and economic advantage. We could have a conclusion that intercropping advantage could be achieved by changing the row ratios configuration to coordinate the inter-specific competition between maize and soybean.

Author(s): Liang Cui, Feng Yang, Xiaochun Wang, Taiwen Yong, Xin Liu, Benying Su and Wenyu Yang

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