Evaluation of Yield and Quality Forage in Intercropping Tepary Bean (Phaseolus acutifolus L. Gray) and Millet Cultivars

Document Type : Scientific - Research


1 Agroecology, University of Jiroft, Jiroft, Iran

2 Department of Agronomy, and Plant breeding, College of agriculture University of Jiroft, Iran

3 Department of Agronomy, and Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran.

4 Department of Agronomy, and Plant breeding, College of agriculture University of Jiroft, Iran.


Intercropping agriculture is one of the pillars of sustainable agriculture that it has become popular in many countries for reasons such as increasing in the quantity and quality of agricultural products (Pakgohar & Ghanbari, 2014). Currently in Iran, because of the lack quality fodder, the development of the livestock industry requires a serious approach to animal feed, which seems to be very important planting of these crops with intercropping in sustainable agriculture (Nasiri et al., 2015). Intercropping cereals and legumes is one of the kind intercropping that based on the results, it can increase the quality of forage produced (Javanmard et al., 2015). The purpose of this study was determination the total yield and forage quality obtained from intercropped Tepary bean and two millet cultivars.
Materials and Methods
The field experiment was done in a randomized complete blocks design with 30 treatment and three replications in Jiroft during 2015-2016 growth season. The treatments included combination of Tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolus L. Gray) and two cultivars of millet (cv. Pishahang and cv. Bastan) and replacement intercropping ratio 75:25, 50:50, 25:75 Tepary bean- Bastan millet, sole cropping of Tepary bean, Bastan millet and the same intercropping ratio of Tepary bean and Pishahang millet. The two plants were cultivated simultaneously and manually. The intra rows and inter rows were 50 and 10 cm2 respectively. The traits evaluated were dry forage yield, fresh forage, ash percentage, dry matter digestibility, water soluble carbohydrates, percentage of calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. The total dry matter yield per plot was calculated from 1 m2 and the forage quality traites of the dried and milled samples in each plot was measured using infrared spectrometer such as Acid detergent fiber (ADF), Dry matter digestibility (DMD) and Water soluble carbohydrate (WSC). The amount of Na and K of forage was determined in the extracts prepared from samples of each treatment by flame Photometer and The amount of Ca and Mg in the extracts was read by atomic absorption. Data analyses were conducted using SAS ver. 12 and analysis of means was done with the Duncan’s test in significant at 5% probability level.
Results and Discussion
The results of this study showed that the highest total dry matter yield was obtained from 50:50 t of Tepary bean- Bastan millet (with 87.57 and 12.59% increasement than sole cropping of Bastan millet and Tepary bean, respectively) and the same ratio of Tepary bean and Pishahang millet. It seems that the better utilization of resources, morphological differences of plants and type of cultivar in intercropping system produced more dry matter yield than sole cropping.The most of Ash, DMD, WSC, Na, K, Ca and Mg, was obtained from intercropping treatments. Also the highest Relative Yield Total (RYT) in evaluation of total dry forage yield was obtained from 50:50 Tepary bean- millet treatment (2.16). Highest level of competition was observed in the relative yield of total dry forage from 75:25 Tepary bean- millet (1.36). In evaluating the benefits of sorghum and bean mung bean intercropping, the researchers reported more than one relative yield total in all intercropping treatments (Shaker- Koohi et al., 2014).
According to the results of this study the highest total forage yield obtained from 50:50 Tepary bean- millet treatment. Also the quality traits of forage such as Ash, DMD, WSC and amount of Na, K, Ca and Mg were increased in intercropping treatments. Total RYT increased in 50:50 Tepary bean+ millet. Totally this result showed inter cropping of bean and millet was better than sole cropping and Therefore, it is possible to introduce intercropping of cereals and legumes as one of the effective methods for producing high quality forage.


Emami, A., 1997. Methods of plant decomposition. Ministry of Agriculture Jihad Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization, Soil and Water Research Institute. Tehran, Iran.
Akhtar, M.F., 2010. Agro-qualitative studies on forage sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) sown alone and in mixture with forage legumes. M.Sc. Thesis, Departman Agronomy, University Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
Arzani, H., 2009. Forage Quality and Daily Requirment of Grazing Animal. University of Tehran Press, Iran. 278 pp. (In Persian (
Asangla, H., and Gohain, T., 2016. Effect of fodder yield and quality attributes of Maize (Zea mays L.)+Cowpea (Vigna unguiculate L.) intercropping and different nitrogen levels. International Journal of Agricultural Science and Research 6:349-356.
 Asgharipour, M.R., and Rafie, M., 2010. Intercropping of isobgol (Plantago ovata L.) and lentil as influenced by drought stress. American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 4: 341-348.
 Baghdadi, A., Halim. R.A, Ghasemzadeh, A., and Ebrahimi, M., 2016. Effect of intercropping of corn and soyabean on dry matter yield and nutritive value of forage corn. Legume Research 39(6): 976-981.
 Buchanan, B.B., Gruissen, M., and Jones, R.L., 2000. In: A.S. Lithourgidis, I.B. Vasilakoglou, C.A. Dordas, and M.D. Yiakoulaki., 2006. Forage yield and quality of common vetch mixtures with oat and triticale in two seeding ratios. Field Crop Research 99: 106- 113.
Budakli Carpici, E., and Celik, N., 2014. Forage yield and quality of common vetch mixtures with triticale and annual ryegrass. Turkish Journal Field Crops 19(1): 66-69.
Bulson, H.A.J., Snaydon, R.W., and Stopes, C.E., 1997. Effects of plant density on intercropped wheat and field beans in an organic farming system. Journal of Agriculture Science 128: 59-71.
Carpita, N., and Mc Cann, M., 2000. The cell wall. In: B.B. Buchanan,W. Gruissem and R.L. Jones. Biochemistery and molecular biology of plants. American Society of Plant Biologist, Maryland. USA. 108- 252.
Charehsaz, N., Ashraf Jafari, A., Arzani, H., and Azarnivand, H., 2012. Prediction of forage quality parameters in some range species by near infrared reflectance spectroscopy. Watershed Management Research (Pajouhesh and Sazandegi) 94: 45- 54. (In Persian with English Summary)
Charehsaz, N., Ashraf Jafari, A., Arzani, H., and Azarnivand, H., 2010. Changes of soluble carbohydrates in three species of Dactylis glomerata، Bromus tomentellus and Agropyron intermedium on intermedium in three phonological stages. Rangeland 4: 121-129. (In Persian with English Summary)
Chris, A., 2005. Yield and nitrogen fixation response by drought tolerant tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray Var. latifolius) in sole and maize intercrop systems in semi- arid southeast Kenya. Journal of Food Technology 3(3): 300-307.
Coleman, S.E., and Moore, J.E., 2003. Feed quality and animal performance. Field Crops Research 84: 17-29.
Dahamardeh, M., and Rigi, K., 2013. Evaluation of yield and forage quality in intercropping of maize (Zea mays L.) and mungbean (Vigna radiata L.). Iranian Journal of Crop Science 44(1): 159-168. (In Persian with English Summary)
Dahmardeh, M., Ghanbari, A., Ali Siah Sar, B., and Ramroudi, M., 2010. Effect of planting ratio and harvest time on forage quality of maize in maize-cowpea intercropping. Iranian Journal of Crop Science 1(3): 633- 642. (In Persian with English Summary)
Dahmardeh, M., Ghanbari, A., Syasar, B., and Ramroudi, M., 2009. Effect of intercropping maize with cowpea on green forage and quality evaluation. Asian Journal and Plant Science 8(3): 235-239.
Dahmardeh, M., 2013. Intercropping two varieties of maize (Zea mays L.) and peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.): Biomass yield and intercropping advantages. International Journal of Accounting and Finance 3:7-11.
Daryaei, F., Chaichi, M.R., and Aghaalikhani, M., 2009. Evaluation of forage yield and quality in chickpea /barley intercropping. Iran Journal Field Crop Science 40:11-19.
Dashtaki, M., and Chaichi, M.R., 2012. Intercropping of sorghum and chickling pea in limited irrigation regimes. Iranian Journal of Crop Science 43(2): 311-321. (In Persian with English Summary)
Ditsch, D.D., and Bitzer, M.J., 2005. Managing small grains for livestock forage. Department of Agronomy. University of Kent. Available at: http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/agr/agr160/agr160.htm.
Eskandari, H., Ghanbari, A., and Javanmard, A., 2009. Intercropping of cereals and legumes for forage Production. Notulae Scientia Biologicae 1(1): 7-13.
Eskandari, H., and Ghanbari, A., 2011. Evaluation of competition and complementarity of corn (Zea mays) and cowpea (Vigna sinensis) intercropping for nutrient consumption. Journal of Agricultural Science and Sustainable Production 21: 67- 75. (In Persian with English Summary)
Esmaeili, A., Sadeghpour, A., Hosseini, S.M.B., Jahanzad, E., Chaich, M.R., and Hashemi, M., 2011. Evaluation of seed yield and compotation indices for intercropped barley and annual medic. International Journal Plant Production 5(4): 395-404.
Fageria, N.K., Baligar, V.C., and Jones, C.A., 2010. Growth and mineral nutrition of field crops. Third edit. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, USA.
Fernandez-Aparicio, M., Emeran, A.A., and Rubiales, D., 2010. Inter-cropping with berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum) reduces infection by orobanche crenata in legumes. Crop Protection 29: 867-871.
Geren, H., Avcioglu, R., Soya, H., and Kir, B., 2008. Intercropping of corn with cowpea and bean: Biomass yield and silage quality. African Journal Biotechnology 7(22): 4100-4104.
Ghanbari, A., and Lee, H.C., 2003. Intercropped wheat (Triticam aestivum) and bean (Vicia faba) as a whole-crop forage: Effect of harvest time on forage yield and quality. Grass and Forage Science 58(1): 28-36.
Ghanbari, A., Nasirpour, M., and Tavassoli, A., 2010. The evaluation of ecophysiological characteristics of millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) in intercropping. Journal of Agroecology 2(4): 556-564. (In Persian with English Summery)
Hail, Y., Daci, M., and Tan, M., 2009. Evaluation of Annual legumes and barley as sole crops and intercrop in spring frost conditions for animal feeding, yield and quality. Journal Animal Advance 8(7): 1337-1342.
 Hoekstra, N.J., and Schulte, R.P.O., 2007. Modeling the concentrations of nitrogen and water soluble carbohydrates in grass herbage ingested by cattle under strip-grazing management. Journal of Grass and Forage Science 63(1): 22-37.
Javanmard, A., Mohamadi Nasab, A.D., Javanshir, A., Moghaddam, M., Janmohammadi, H., Nasiri, Y., and Shekari, F., 2015. Evaluation of maize neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), total digestible nutrients (TDN), dry matter intake (DMI) and net energy for lactation (NEL) in intercropping. Journal of Crop Production and Processing 4(14): 175-190. (In Persian with English Summary)
Javanmard, A., Dabbagh Mohammadi, A., Jvanshir, A., Moghaddam, M., and Janmohammad, H., 2010. Effects of maize intercropping with legumes on forage yield and quality. Journal of Agricultural Science and Sustainable Production 22(3): 137-151. (In Persian with English Summary)
Kheradmand, S., Mahmodib, S., and Ahmadi, E., 2015. Quantitative and qualitative performance evaluation of green pea and barley forage intercropping. Applied Field Crops Research 27(105): 111-118. (In Persian with English Summary)
Lehman J., peter, I., Steglich, C., Bebaner, G., and Huwe, Z., 1998. Below ground interaction in dry land agroforestry. Forest Ecology and Management 11:157-159.
 Lithourgidis, A.S., Dordas, C.A., Damalas, C.A., and Vlachostergios, D.N., 2011. Annual intercrops: an alternative pathway for sustainable agriculture. Australian Journal Crop Science 5: 396-410.
Mandal, M. K., Banerjee, M., Banerjee, H., Pathak, A., and Das, R., 2014. Evaluation of creal- legume intercropping systems through productivity and competition ability. Australian Journal of Science Technology 3: 233-237.
Madani, H., Shirzadi, M.H., and Darini, F., 2008. Effect of plant density on yield and yield components of Vigna and Tepary local beans germplasm in Jiroft. New finding in Agriculture. 1: 93-104. (In Persian with English Summary)
Marschner, P., 2011. Marschners Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants. Third edition. University of Adelaide, Australia.
 McGrath, D., 1988. Seasonal variation in the water-soluble carbohydrates of perennial and Italian ryegrass under cutting conditions. Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research 27: 131-139.
Najafi, N.A., and Mostafae, M., 2015. Improvement of corn plant nutrition by farmyard manure application and intercropping with bean and bitter vetch in a calcareous soil. Journal of Soil Management and Sustainable Production 5(1): 1-22. (In Persian with English Summary)
Nasiri, B., Daraei Mofrad, A., and Hosseinian, S.H., 2015. Evaluation of qualitative and quantitative of forage in additive series intercropping of triticale and broad leaf vetch in dry land conditions. Research in Crop Ecosystems 2(2): 37-48. (In Persian with English Summary)
Nazari, S., Zaefrian, F., Farahmandfar, E., Zand, E., and Azami Sooran, S., 2014. Effect of harvest time on forage yield and quality maize under intercropping with legume plants. Iranian Journal of Field Crops Research 12(2): 237-245. (In Persian with English Summary)
Pakgohar, N., and Ghanbari, A., 2014. Evaluation of competition and nutrient consumption of nutrifid millet and green pea in intercropping. Journal of Crops Improvement 15: 137-150. (In Persian with English Summary)
Pakgohar, N., Ghanbari, A., and Farahbakhsh, A., 2014. Investigation of quantitative and qualitative characteristics of green pea (Lathyrus sativus L.) and nutrifed millet (Pennisetum sp.) forage in different cultivation patterns. Agroecology 6(1): 108-117.
Radwinska, J., and Zarczynska, K., 2014. Effects of mineral deficiency on the health of young ruminants. Journal of Elementology 19: 915–928.
Rinhard, W., Wandther, N., and Kaul, H.P., 2016. Concentrations and uptake of macronutrients by oat and pea in intercrops in response to N fertilization and sowing ratio. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science 62(9): 1235-1249Roberts, C., Stuth, A.J., and Finn, P.C., 2003. NIRS applications in forages and feedstuffs. In: C. A. Roberts, J. Workman, J. Reeves. (Eds.), Near Infra-spectroscopy in Agriculture. Agronomy Monograph 321 p.
Sadeghpour, A., Jahanzad, E., Esmaeili, A., Hosseini, M.B., and Hashemi, M., 2013. Forage yield, quality and economic benefit of intercropped barley and annual medic in semi-arid conditions: Additive series. Field Crops Research 148: 43–48.
Shaker- Koohi, S., and Nasrollahzadeh, S., 2014. Evaluation of yield and advantage indices of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) and mungbean (Vigna radiate L.) intercropping systems. International Journal of Advanced Biological Biomedical Research 2: 151-160.
Shahraki, M.R., and Barani, H., 2012. Examining factors on destruction of Golestan province rangelands. Journal Management System 1(3): 59-78. (In Persian with English Summary)
Tavakoli, A., Ghalavand, A., Moradi, A., Zare, A., and Najafi, A., 2012. Evaluation quality and quantity of forage in Medicago sativa and Foeniculum vulgare intercropping. In: National Conference Natural Products and Medicinal Plants, Bojnourd, Iran, 27-28 September 2012, p. 158.
Volaire, F., Norton, M.R., Norton, G.M., and Leilievre, F., 2005, Seasonal patterns of growth, dehydrins and water soluble carbohydrates in genotypes of Dactylis glomerata varying in summer dormancy. Journal of Annals of Botany oxford 95(2): 981-990.
Zandvakili, O.R., Allahdadi, I., Mazaheri, D., Akbari, G., Jahanzad, E., and Mirshekari, M., 2012. Evaluation of quantitative and qualitative traits of forage sorghum and lima bean under different nitrogen fertilizer regimes in additive- replacement series. Journal of Agricultural Science 4(6): 223-235.