Intercropping legumes with rapeseed to reduce nitrogen inputs and pesticide use and improve profitability

9-year diversified cropping system in Berry, France
Pierre Rochepeau, Gilles Sauzet
Posted: 09.06.2022
Rotations in the Berry region are dominated by a 3-year cropping system (rapeseed – wheat - barley) which requires relatively high levels of nitrogen (N) inputs and pesticides, especially herbicides to control weeds such as bedstraw, vulpine, etc., some of which are becoming resistant. 10-year projections of this system show that weed pressure could raise the herbicides Treatment Frequency Index (TFI) from 2.9 to 4.0 and degrade yields by 8% and profitability by 63%. A 9-year cropping system is proposed to provide more ecosystem services and reduce the use of mineral N inputs and pesticides. In this system, intercropping rapeseed with legumes such as Alexandria clover, faba beans, and fenugreek, improved yields and reduced usage of mineral N inputs and pesticides.

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Authors: Pierre Rochepeau, Gilles Sauzet
Acknowledgement: DiverIMPACTS has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innnovation programme under grant agreement No. 727482.

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