Faba Bean And Wheat As A Plant Team Intercropping For Yield Improvement In Central Bekaa
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Walaa Morda. (1/3/2020). Faba Bean And Wheat As A Plant Team Intercropping For Yield Improvement In Central Bekaa.
Wheat faba bean crop mixture would be a key strategy to produce more with less, with mutually benefit from combined nitrogen fixed by the legume and diversification of agricultural productions. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of faba bean lines in wheat mixture system, and to assess the impact of such plant team on yield improvement in comparison to sole conditions and to identify the suitable faba bean wheat combinations for further selection. A set of 40 faba bean lines and one wheat Var. Margherita developed at ICARDA were evaluated in spatial design with three replications, at ICARDA Kfardan station Lebanon. Phenological, architectural and agronomical data were collected. The spatial statistical model was applied for variance analysis for all evaluated traits. Overall results indicated significant differences among the two cropping methods. Late flowering time and late maturity (3 days average delay compared to sole crop) were recorded in faba bean intercropped with wheat. Intercropping system enhanced faba bean plant height (56.26 to 74.7 cm vs. 49 to 71.4 cm in sole faba bean) and canopy development (52.3% - 69.1% vs. 7.3% - 65.2% in sole faba bean). It decreased faba bean branches number per plant (1.5 vs. 2.35 branches in sole) and number of lost pod after harvest (0.89 - 6.49 vs. 10.4 to 27.8 pods in sole faba bean). In terms of yield components, wheat grain yield per unit area increased in the intercropping system (4727 Kg/ha) while faba bean yield per unit area was reduced indicating the limited competition of faba bean with wheat. On the other hand, Biplot analysis allowed to select a top 10 lines of faba bean among the 40 initially studied, based on individual grain yield and biological yield, and which are suitable for both cropping system. For these top 10 selected lines, the total productivity per unit area (combining both faba bean and wheat) was significantly higher in the intercropping system compared to sole crops, with 5230 - 5373 kg/ha grain yield and 9809 - 12995 kg/ha biological yield respectively. Hence, this study proved that wheat faba bean crop mixture has the advantage to sole crops on increasing the total productivity per unit area. Nevertheless, there is a need to evaluate the sowing seed rate of faba bean and wheat in this intercropping system to enhance the yield and improve economic return per unit area. Optimizing the wheat faba bean system will contribute to improve farmer revenue, diversify food and reduce risk of crop failure under rainfed conditions.