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Filling The Intercropping Info Gap

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Two crops or one? Sometimes, growing two crops simultaneously on the same piece of land – called intercropping – can benefit farmers. But it needs careful planning and resource management.

Two crops or one? Sometimes, growing two crops simultaneously on the same piece of land – called intercropping – can benefit farmers. But it needs careful planning and resource management.

In some parts of Africa, farmers intercrop sorghum – a grain – and peanuts. But they face a major information gap. There hasn’t been much research on optimal levels of fertilizer use for intercropping sorghum and peanuts in these areas.

A new study has filled this information gap. Researchers from Niger, Mali, and the United States have developed a method to help farmers determine how much fertilizer to apply when intercropping.

“Using fertilizers efficiently can help farmers improve profits from their crops,” says Charles Wortmann, an agronomist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “That can help many break out of cycles of poverty and increase food production and food security.”

Read more at American Society of Agronomy

Image: Intercropping of sorghum and groundnut with three rows of groundnut between every two rows of sorghum in the Sahel of West Africa. Growing two crops together results in higher productivity compared with producing sole crops with less chance of complete crop failure. (Credit: Charles Wortmann)