The Journal of Agricultural Science


Intercropped field beans (Vicia faba) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) for whole crop forage: effect of nitrogen on forage yield and quality

A.  GHANBARI-BONJAR  a1 p1 and H. C.  LEE  a1 c1
a1 Imperial College at Wye, Wye, Ashford, Kent TN25 5AH, UK


Sole crops and intercrops of field beans (Vicia faba L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), at three nitrogen rates, were evaluated for production of whole crop forage in two field experiments, one spring and one autumn drilled, on Imperial College at Wye farm, UK, during 1997–1998. Forage quality attributes measured were crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF), water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) and ash content. In both experiments, dry matter (DM) and percentage dry matter (DM%) were improved by intercropping compared with beans sole crops. Intercropping enhanced CP and NDF contents and WSC compared with beans and wheat sole crops, respectively. Nitrogen (N) applications up to 75 kg/ha produced the optimal intercrop forage yield and crude protein content. This input of N is smaller than that for other forage crops.

(Received March 22 2002)

c1 To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email:
p1 Present address: Agronomy Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zabol, Iran.