Spain: Intercropping melon and cowpea improves soil nutrients and increases melon yields

Fresh Melon (Muskmelon)
Dried Cowpea
Published Apr 1, 2022

Tridge summary

Intercropping is an agricultural practice that involves growing two or more plant species in the same ground at the same time. This practice enables growers not only to increase crop productivity, but also to improve soil quality. Moreover, it brings advantages such as reduced pests and diseases and a greater diversity of microbes and beneficial insects.

Original content

Although intercropping with some traditional crops has shown high degrees of success, such as maize with bean and pumpkin in Mexico, which is known as milpa, not all intercropping systems constitute improvements, since there must be a balance between the crops used.With the aim of increasing the environmental and economic sustainability of agricultural systems, a team from the European Diverfarming project has studied the possibility of using this technique of intercropping with the main summer crop for export in the Region of Murcia: the melon.To deal with the issue of soil and water degradation caused by the excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers in intensive melon cropping, researchers from the CEBAS—CSIC, the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (UPCT) and the University of Murcia have analyzed the soil nutrients, their physico-chemical properties, the enzyme activity and the soil microbial community (by means of high performance sequencing) of an intercrop of cowpea and ...
Source: Phys
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