Economics and agronomic performance of maize and soybean intercropping under various tillage and residue levels

Narayan Khatri1* and Tika Bahadur Karki2


A field experiment was conducted at National Maize Research Program, Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal during rainy season of 2013 to find out the effect of tillage, residue levels and intercropping systems on yield and yield attributing characters of maize and soybean.  The results revealed that the grain yield of maize and soybean was significantly influenced by intercropping systems, but not by tillage system and residue levels. The grain yield of maize obtained under sole cropping (4.76 t/ha) was significantly higher than maize + soybean intercropping system (4.27 t/ha). Similarly, the grain yield of sole soybean was significantly higher (1.99 t/ha) than that of maize + soybean intercropping system (1.26 t/ha). There was 10 percent reduction of maize yield as compared to sole maize system due to intercropping systems. Similarly, reduction of seed yield of soybean under maize and soybean intercropping system was 37 % as compared to sole soybean system. Moreover, the total grain yield equivalent of 6.45 t/ha obtained from sole soybean system was significantly higher and was followed by maize and soybean intercropping system with 4.99 t/ha. Significantly, higher Land Equivalent Ratio (1.38) was recorded with maize and soybean intercropping system over sole system (1.0). Maize and soybean intercropping system produced higher gross return, net return and Benefit: Cost ratio. Net returns and Benefit: Cost ratio obtained from maize + soybean intercropping system under zero tillage residue removed condition was higher of NRs. 1,55,478 and 2.77 respectively.

Keywords: Intercropping system, maize, residue levels, soybean, tillage, yield