Assessing the economic value of cereal-legume intercrops in low-input rotational cropping systems Academic Article uri icon


  • Cereal/legume intercrops are often proposed as an alternative to monocropping, particularly in temperate organic and low-input farming systems. This study presents results from experiments carried out at two sites in Scotland, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, which investigated the role of intercrops of spring barley with either clover or peas in a rotational cropping sequence over 2 years. Results showed that intercropping increased grain yields in the year of intercropping at Edinburgh but not at Aberdeen. In the year after intercropping there were significantly increased grain yields at both sites in the oats that had followed intercrops but not in those that had followed barley monocrops. Two-year gross margins for the intercrops followed by oats were much greater than for any other treatment. This study highlights the importance both of taking a multi-year approach to assessing the value of intercropping, and also shows that intercrops offer a potential route to improving profitability in rotational farmi

published proceedings

  • Aspects of Applied Biology

author list (cited authors)

  • Baddeley, J., Pappa, V., Walker, R., Watson, C., & Rees, B.

complete list of authors

  • Baddeley, J||Pappa, V||Walker, R||Watson, C||Rees, B

publication date

  • January 2011