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Influence of Intercropping Maize with Climbing Bean on Quality and Forage Yield

Darko Uher, Ivan Horvatić scientific paper)


Corn silage  is a high-yielding,  voluminous forage  rich in energy  but with insufficient protein  content for high- producing cattle. Since legumes have a low dry matter yield, low forage yield and unsatisfactory quality, they are often used in intercropping with cereals, which contributes to a higher yield and better forage quality than in pure culture. In this research, corn (Zea mays L.) and climbing beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were sown in different sowing densities in order to determine the best ratio in the intercropping system of corn and beans to achieve high yield and good nutritional value of forage. A pure maize crop (75000 grains ha-1) and maize in intercropping with beans were sown: 75000 grains ha-1 of maize and 37000 grains ha-1 of beans, 75000 grains ha-1 of maize and 50000 grains ha-1 of beans and 75000 grains ha-1 of corn and 75000 grains ha-1 of beans. The highest yield of dry matter was determined with the highest proportion of beans (19.0 t ha-1), and the lowest yield with 75000 plants ha-1 of corn and 37000 plants ha-1  of beans (17.2 t ha-1). The intercropping of corn and beans reduced the proportion of neutral detergent fibers, which could result in an increase in the digestibility of voluminous forage. Based on the nutritional value and forage yield, we can conclude that the intercropping with the highest proportion of beans had the highest yield and the best nutritional value.


Correspondent author:
Darko Uher, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Svetošimunska 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia,