Evaluation of quantitative and qualitative yield of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) in intercropping affected by biological and chemical fertilizers in supplemental irrigation condition

Document Type : Scientific - Research


1 Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Urmia University, Iran

2 Agricultural and Horticultural Research Department of Khorasan Razavi Research Center, Mashhad Agricultural Education and Extension Research Organization, Iran


Intercropping as a method of sustainable agriculture is defined as the simultaneous growing of two or more crops during the same season on the same area of land. Intercropping compared with monoculture has many advantages including the more efficient use of resources (water, nitrogen, and radiation), enhances yield quality, prevention of soil erosion, and reduced incidence of insects, diseases, and weeds. Javanmard et al. (2012) studied the agronomical, ecological and economic evaluation of wheat- chickpea intercropping under rainfed condition of Maragheh reported that the highest pods number per plant, seed number per plant, seed yield of chickpea and spikelet number per spike, grain number per spike, grain yield, protein content, and protein yield were obtained in the sole crops. This research aimed to study the effects of different fertilizers (biological, chemical, integrative) and intercropping of barley with chickpea on their yield and qualitative traits.
Materials and methods
This study was carried out with a factorial design based on Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications and 24 treatments in Naqadeh, Iran during the growing season of 2014-2015. The first factor included six intercropping patterns consist of 1-row chickpea + 1-row barley, 2-row chickpea + 2-row barley, 4-row chickpea + 2-row barley and 2-row chickpea + 4-row barley and monocropping of each crop and the second factor was included control (no fertilizer), 100% chemical fertilizers (NP), biofertilizers and biofertilizers +50% chemical fertilizers.
Barley was harvested when spike turned brown and chickpea was harvested when the first pod of the plants fully matured. Field data were collected by cutting 10 plants randomly from each plot and yield component of each plant was considered as the average for each plot.
Analysis of variance had been done by using SAS 9.4 software was performed for studied parameters. Means were compared with LSD at 5% probability level (P < 0.05).
 Results and discussion
Results showed that intercropping patterns had a significant effect on all of the mentioned traits except the number of seeds per pod of chickpea pea. There was no significant interaction effect between intercropping pattern and fertilizer. The maximum and the minimum grain yield and biological yield of chickpea were obtained at monocropping and row intercropping (1-row chickpea + 1-row barley), respectively. In addition, the highest and the lowest grain yield and biological yield of barley were obtained from monocropping and 1-row chickpea + 1-row barley, respectively. Also, the effect of fertilizer was significant on all traits of both crops. The highest seed yield and biological yield of chickpea were achieved in the combined usage of fertilizers with 104.60 and 339.53 g.m-2 and the maximum grain yield and biological yield of barley were obtained in use of integrated application fertilizers with 215.90 and 1187.53 g.m-2, respectively. The highest and the lowest grain protein of barley and chickpea were obtained in the combined usage of fertilizers and control (no fertilizer), respectively.
 Calculation of LER revealed that the maximum LER (1.34) was obtained for intercropping (2-row of barley + 2-row of chickpea) with biochemical fertilizer, respectively. This means that intercropping improved land use efficiency by 34%, compared with monocropping.
According to the results of this experiment, the highest grain yield for both plants (chickpeas and barley) were achieved in monocropping. However, the lowest grain yield of chickpeas and barley were obtained in intercropping patterns with ratios of 1:1, respectively. The higher grain yield of mono-cropped may be due to the fewer disturbances in the habitat in a homogeneous environment under monocropping systems. In the condition of application biofertilizer, more nutrient accessibility led to an improvement in the yield of chickpeas and barley. Results indicated that application of biofertilizers enhanced the grain and yield components. Among treatments, the combined usage of fertilizers (%50 chemical fertilizers+ biofertilizer) showed a greater increase in studied traits than individual consumption. The positive effect of biofertilizer may result from its ability to improve the availability of nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients especially under limited irrigation of the soil which causes decreasing on the nutrient's availability.


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