Agroforestry for soil and water conservation in the western Himalayan Valley Region of India 2. Crop and tree production
Authors: Narain, Pratap; Singh, R.; Sindhwal, N.; Joshie, P.
Source: Agroforestry Systems, Volume 39, Number 2, November 1997 , pp. 191-203(13)
Abstract:A ten-year-study (1983 to 1992) conducted on nine 15 × 90 m runoff plots at 4% slope compared production efficiency of Leucaena leucocephala and Eucalyptus hybrid based agroforestry as well as monocropping landuse systems in the warm, subhumid climate of the western Himalayan region of India. Treatments for the first sequence were: monocropping systems of leucaena, eucalyptus, Chrysopogon fulvus grass and maize – wheat rotation, and alley cropping systems of grass and crops at 4.5 and 10.5 m alley widths with paired contour tree rows of leucaena and eucalyptus. In the second sequence, alley width increased to 22.5 m in 1989, grass was replaced by turmeric Curcuma longa and paired contour rows of leucaena hedges were introduced in monocropping systems of grain crops and turmeric. Integration of leucaena and eucalyptus trees with crops caused severe reduction of crop yields ranging from 21 to 92% for wheat grain, 59 to 69% for maize grain, 60 to 67% for dry grass and about 50% for turmeric rhizome depending upon the age of trees and alley width. The grain yield of crops stabilized at about 50% reduction with 22.5 m alley width. Total crop biomass (grain + straw) also revealed a similar trend; however, its magnitude of reduction was less severe than for grain. Production of biomass was much lower near the tree rows than in mid alleys. Managing leucaena as contour hedgerows eliminated crop yield reduction in alleys. Performance of grass and turmeric in alleys was not found to be satisfactory. Biomass produced from trees adequately compensated the crop yield reduction. Land equivalent ratios of agroforestry landuses were comparable or even better than monocropping systems indicating suitability of these systems for the western Himalayan valley region.
Document Type: Research Article
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Publication date: November 1, 1997