Performance of Field Pea and Lentil When Intercropped With Faba Bean and Chickpea in the Peace River Region of Alberta, Canada

  •  Kabal Singh Gill    
  •  Darcy Boisvert    


Research information concerning intercropping legumes with non-legumes for seed production is extensively available, but concerning legume-legume intercropping is from tropical areas only. Field pea and lentil tend to lodge as they reach maturity and this can result in harvesting difficulties as well as reduced seed yield and quality. The objectives of this study were to assess crop response and seed production when field pea (Pisum staivum L.) and lentil (Lens culinaris Medic.) were intercropped with lodging resistant faba bean (Vicia faba L.) and chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), in the Peace River region of Alberta, Canada. The combinations of lentil+faba bean, lentil+chickpea, field pea+faba bean and field pea+chickpea intercrops; and their sole crops were tested in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Seeding rates were either 75 or 100% of lentil and field pea; and either 50 or 75% of faba bean and chickpea for intercrops; and 100% for sole crops. Compared to the seed rates in the intercrops, the plant counts were similar or slightly lower for lentil and field pea sole crops, while they were similar or lower for faba bean and chickpea sole crops. Plant height of lentil and field pea was similar in sole crops and intercrops, while faba bean and chickpea were stunted in some intercrop treatments. There was reduced lodging of lentil and field pea in the intercrops compared to sole crops in 2016 and 2017, which could provide better harvesting conditions. Compared to sole crops, the seed yield and land equivalent ratio (LER) of individual crops in the intercropping treatments were similar or slightly lower than the seeding rates for lentil and field pea, while they were similar or noticeably lower for faba bean and chickpea. There was very little gain in the total seed yield and total LER values from the intercrops in 2015, due to very dry weather conditions. However with adequate rain in 2016 and 2017, the lentil intercrops provided greater total seed yield and total LER than the sole crops, but the gains in the total seed yield and total LER from the field pea intercrops over the sole field pea were small and not consistent. Overall, the results indicate a potential for improving seed yield and total LER over the sole crops of lentil by intercropping with faba bean and chickpea.

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