Crop yields of rice and wheat grown in rotation as intercrops with three tree species in the outer hills of Western Himalaya
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Studies on tree crop interaction under rainfed condition in Dehradun valley were conducted for 13 years during 1977 to 1990. Grewia optiva (Bhimal), Morus alba (Mulbery) and Eucalyptus hybrid were tried along with rice (CV: Akashi) — wheat (CV: RR-21) rotation. One-year-old tree seedlings of the above tree species were planted in line, 5 m apart in N-S direction, in July 1977, in the middle of the plot (size 20 m × 20 m). Eucalyptus was first harvested in 1987. Grewia optiva, Morus alba and coppice of Eucalyptus were harvested in 1990. All tree species had depressing effect on crop yields. Eucalyptus had maximum effect in depressing crop yield till the first harvest and had least effect thereafter. From 1987 onwards, Morus alba affected rice most, while wheat was mostly affected by Grewia optiva. The depressing effect on an average varied from 28 to 34% depending upon the species.
Distance of tree line from the crop significantly affected the crop yield upto a distance of 5 m and there was 39% decrease in crop yield upto 1 m, 33% from 1–2 m, 25% from 2–3 m and 12% from 3–5 m distance. Annual removal of lops and tops from trees partly compensated the deficit. Grewia optiva could produce 1.08 t ha−1 yr−1 of branches and 0.26 t ha−1 yr−1 of leaves (air dry) and 1.28 t ha−1 yr−1 of branches and 0.28 t ha−1 yr−1 of leaves were obtained from Morus alba. Wood (ADT) produced by the trees was 33.6 t ha−1 from Eucalyptus, 9.5 t ha−1 from Grewia optiva and 11.6 t ha−1 from Morus alba.
Key wordstree-crop interaction rice-wheat rotation soil moisture Grewia optiva Morus alba eucalyptus spec
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