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What is the basic objective in mixed cropping?
Mixed cropping, also known as poly-culture, inter-cropping, or co-cultivation, is a type of agriculture that involves planting two or more plants simultaneously in the same field, interdigitating the crops so that they grow together. In general, the theory is that planting multiple crops at once saves space since crops in the same field might ripen at different seasons, and provides a wealth of environmental benefits.
For example: If you plant Maize which is a shallow-rooted crop, you can plant yam (a deep-rooted crop) beside it. This is mixed cropping. The Maize will be harvested first, after about 90-120 days while the yam keeps growing, thereafter. It would be harvested after about 8-9 months. In mixed cropping land is maximally used for the growth of 2 or more crops. And nutrient depletes fast, in a mixed cropped land. That means a farmer will have to think of replenishing lost nutrients either by organic or inorganic manuring to be able to continue to use the land in future.
Followings are basic objective of mixed farming
a) To overcome risk from mono-cropping
b) It provides an optimum yield that's reduces the risk in dry land farming
c) If one crop may fail due to aberrant whether conditions, other will able to grow
d) Also increase crop diversity
e) Intercrops maintain soil fertility as the nutrient uptake is made from both layers.
f) It acts as an insurance against failure of crop in abnormal year.
g) Reduce soil runoff.
Basic objective in mixed cropping is to make profit by growing various type of crops as their rates are different , hence he/she can grow higher rates crop in that area instead of growing Low rates crop in that area.
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