Types of intercropping


Maize and cowpea intercropping

Bajra Napier and Desmanthes intercropping in 3:1 ratio

  • For increased fodder production from the available land resources, the cropping has to be intensified in terms of either space or time or both.


  • Growing two or more crops simultaneously on the same piece of land is termed as intercropping. These crops are grown together for their entire life cycle or atleast for part of their life cycle. There are different systems of intercropping.
  • Mixed cropping: When seeds of two or more crops are mixed and sown by broadcasting without distinct spacing, the system is termed as mixed cropping. Eg. Sorghum + cowpea + cucumber
  • Row intercropping:  Sowing two or more crops in distinct rows with narrow ratios of 1:1 or 1:2 or 2:2 etc. is termed as row intercropping.
  • Strip intercropping: The systems of sowing two or more crops in alternate strips (slightly larger ratios such as 10:10 or so) is termed as strip cropping.
  • Relay cropping: Usually a legume and a non -legume are sown together in the above systems. Relay cropping is a system when seeds of one crop (usually legume) are sown into the standing crop (usually rice) before its harvest so that there is overlapping of part of their life cycles.
    • Eg. Rice - sunnhemp, Rice - Pillipesara etc. (Food crop followed by fodder crop).
  • Sequential cropping: Growing two or more crops in a sequence, one after the other, on the same piece of land is termed as sequential cropping. Availability of irrigation water is more important to adopt sequential cropping systems. Depending on the number of crops grown in one year, the systems are called as double cropping, triple cropping , quadruple cropping, etc. If the same crop is grown season after season or year after year, it is termed as monoculture and if different crops are grown, it is termed as crop rotation,
    • Eg.
      • Maize - Berseem
      • Sorghum - Oats - Maize
      • Maize - Cowpea - SSG 59-3 (multicut sorghum)
Last modified: Wednesday, 21 December 2011, 6:54 AM