Experimental Agriculture

Research Article

The Concept of a ‘Land Equivalent Ratio’ and Advantages in Yields from Intercropping

R. Meada1 and R. W. Willeya2

a1 University of Reading, Berkshire, England

a2 International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, ICRISAT Patancheru P.O., Andhra Pradesh 502 324, India


Criteria for evaluating different intercropping situations are suggested, and the Land Equivalent Ratio (LER) concept is considered for situations where intercropping must be compared with growing each crop sole. The need to use different standardizing sole crop yields in forming LERs is discussed, and a method of calculating an ‘effective LER’ is proposed to evaluate situations where the yield proportions achieved in intercropping are different from those that might be required by a farmer. The possible importance of effective LERs in indicating the proportions of crops likely to give biggest yield advantages is discussed.

(Accepted December 12 1979)