Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Diversifying European agricultural systems by intercropping grain legumes and cereals

Jensen, Erik S.; Chongtham, Iman R.; Dhamala, Nawa R.; Rodriguez, Carolina; Carton, Nicolas; Carlsson, Georg

Abstract

Cropping system diversification is a key factor in developing more sustainable cropping and food systems. The agroecological practice of intercropping, meaning the simultaneous cultivation of two or more species in the same field, has recently gained renewed interest as a means of ecological intensification in European agricultural research. We discuss some recent research developments regarding 1) intercropping for ecological intensification in agroecological and conventional cropping systems, 2) studies on nitrogen resource use by cereal-grain legume intercropping cultivation, 3) the role of intercropping in the management of biotic stressors, especially weeds, and 4) intercropping as a means of creating cropping systems that are more resilient to the abiotic and biotic stress associated with climate change. Finally, we propose methods for the greater adoption of intercropping in European agriculture by unlocking farming systems from upstream and downstream barriers, with the aim of developing more sustainable agricultural and food systems.

Keywords

Agroecology; ecological intensification; food security; mixed cropping; multi-actor approach; nitrogen use; sustainability

Published in

International journal of agriculture and natural resources
2020, volume: 47, number: 3, pages: 174-186
Publisher: PONTIFICIA UNIV CATOLICA CHILE, FAC AGRONOMIA INGENIERIA FORESTAL

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology
Chongtham, Iman Raj (Chongtham Iman, Raj)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology
Rodriguez Gonzalez, Carolina
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology

Associated SLU-program

SLU Network Plant Protection

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7764/ijanr.v47i3.2241

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/110339