Research Topic

Intercropping Systems in Sustainable Agriculture

About this Research Topic

Intercropping involves cultivating two or more crops in a field simultaneously. In addition to cash crops, cover crops are also sometimes used in intercropping. This practice has regained attention worldwide, particularly in the tropics due to its beneficial effects on soil fertility and nutrient cycling. ...

Intercropping involves cultivating two or more crops in a field simultaneously. In addition to cash crops, cover crops are also sometimes used in intercropping. This practice has regained attention worldwide, particularly in the tropics due to its beneficial effects on soil fertility and nutrient cycling. Early research focused on supplying nitrogen with legume intercropping plants, but now a number of non-cash plants are also used to improve soil properties: increasing organic matter, creating and stabilizing soil aggregates, decreasing soil compaction, enabling a richer and diverse soil biota, aerating the soil, improving water balance, increasing phosphorus availability by mycorrhizal symbiosis, recovering nutrients by roots attaining deep soil layers, etc. Intercropping may also help to control weeds and pests. Intercropping is a sustainable practice that can improve resource-use efficiency, such as nutrients and water, allowing low input agricultural practices.

This Research Topic aims to gather information on diverse aspects of intercropping, with the goal of improving crop yields and soil quality and guaranteeing food security. We welcome contributions from multiple disciplines, including: microbiology, soil, plant breeding, plant physiology, food technology, agronomy, and others with a clear relationship to the subject of crop yield and sustainability. Article types available are: Original Research, Systematic Review, Methods, Review, Mini Review, Policy and Practice Reviews, Hypothesis and Theory, Perspective, Data Report, Policy Brief, General Commentary, and Opinion.


Keywords: Sustainable agriculture, Intercropping, Cover crops, Cash crops, Soil, Nutrient cycling, Low input agriculture, Food security, Soil quality, Crop yield


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