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Agrociencia (Uruguay)

Print version ISSN 1510-0839On-line version ISSN 2301-1548


ERNST, Oswaldo  and  BIANCULLI, Mariana. Grain Yield, Phenology and Water Use in Wheat-soybean Intercropping Compared to Sequential Crops and Cover Crop-soybean Systems. Agrociencia Uruguay [online]. 2013, vol.17, n.2, pp.33-44. ISSN 1510-0839.

Wheat-soybean intercropping would allow double annual cropping systems without delaying soybean planting as the sequential double cropping does, while covering the soil during the winter period with a cash crop. We evaluate the effect of two seeding wheat-soybean intercrop structures, 50% of the soil surface seeded under wheat and 50% under soybean (Wt50Sb50), and 40% wheat-60% soybean (Wt40Sb60), on the available soil water (ASW) at soybean seedtime, crop phenology, soil water use and soybean yield, in relation to sequential double cropping (Wt100Sb100) and full season soybean (Sb). In order to quantify the delayed sowing date effect, a late seeding soybean date (Sjl) equal to Wt100Sb100 was evaluated. Intercropping wheat-soybean obtained smaller yield than Sb, but Wt40Sb60 obtained similar yield compared to Wt100Sb100 (3.06 Mg ha-1 for Sb and Sbl against 2.1 and 1.78 Mg ha-1 for Wt40Sb60 and Wt100Sb100 respectively, p£0,05). Wheat consumed most of the ASW up to 60 cm depth both in intercropping and sequential cropping (Wt100Sb100). On the fraction of the soil planted with soybean ASW at sowing time was similar in Wt40Sb60 and Sb (57 and 41 mm respectively), but when averaged with SAW in the fraction of the surface under wheat (40%), it was reduced to 28 mm. The highest total production was obtained with Wt100Sb100, but if soybean yield is prioritized, a Wt30Sb70 seeding structure would maintain the soil covered during the winter, reserve ASW for the soybean crop, and not to lose soybean yield.


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