From: American Society of Agronomy
Published September 13, 2017 10:58 AM

Helping Chinese Farmers Tackle Erosion, Increase Profits

On the steep farming slopes of China, Bozhi Wu and his research associates are finding ways to improve economic and environmental stability.

The research team studied the use of intercropping – growing more than one crop per season – on hilly land. They focused on a staple grain crop, corn. They compared intercropping the corn with either setaria grass, used in forage, or chili peppers. The results, you could say, will spice up Chinese farmers’ methods.

Over a four year period, the research team measured runoff, erosion, and economic return for four different types of cropping systems. They compared only corn (maize), only chili, and then intercropping corn with chili and corn with setaria grass. The land researched was in the Yunnan Province of southwest China. All fields were rain-fed, with no irrigation.

“Reducing erosion can sustain or increase soil fertility and productivity,” says Wu. “We researched intercropping systems that could reduce erosion, stabilize food production, and increase farmers’ incomes.”

Read more at American Society of Agronomy

Image: Intercropping maize and chili to improve economic and environmental stability -- a recipe for success? (Credit: Photo provided by Bozhi Wu)

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