Mixed Cropping vs Intercropping: Difference and Comparison

Planting a crop is not an easy task. We have to take proper care right from the beginning till the end. For that, we have to find sustainable methods of cropping.

Mixed Cropping and Intercropping are two methods used for planting two or more crops simultaneously in the same field so that the yield will be higher when compared with single cropping. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Mixed cropping involves growing two or more crops in the same field, while intercropping involves growing two or more crops in alternating rows or strips.
  2. Mixed cropping is more complex and requires careful selection of compatible crops, while intercropping is simpler and can help reduce pest and disease problems.
  3. Mixed cropping can improve soil fertility and provide a more diverse range of crops, while intercropping can increase yield and maximize land use efficiency.

Mixed Cropping vs Intercropping

The difference between Mixed Cropping and Intercropping is that in mixed cropping the method will be used to reduce the loss, but in intercropping it is used for increasing the profit as well as the yield. So many farmers are going for that method irrespective of the price. Most farmers will go for mixed cropping only when they are expecting any failure. Other than that, they will choose intercropping. 

Mixed Cropping vs Intercropping

Mixed Cropping is a method used for growing two or more crops in the same field at the same time. Farmers use this technique to avoid loss.

This will help them to grow different varieties of crops at the same time, and the result will be good when compared with harvesting a single crop. In this method, both crops and animals will get benefitted as they are grown at the same time. 

Intercropping is a method used for cultivating two or more crops in a row-like format. Sometimes it will be a time-consuming method as it will lead to a lot of work. Growing two or more crops is not an easy task.

Because in intercropping, one crop should have more qualities when compared with the other one.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMixed CroppingIntercropping
DefinitionGrowing two or more crops in the same fieldGrowing two or more crops in the same field in a row format
AdvantagesThe end result will be goodThe profit will increase
DisadvantagesThe correct order for seeds distribution will be missedIt requires more money
Invented byTribal people in the United States of AmericaShri Davinder Singh
UsageReduce the lossIncrease the yield

What is Mixed Cropping?

Mixed Cropping is a topic that comes under biology. If we grow two or more crops at the same time in the same field, then that is called Mixed Cropping.

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With the help of mixed cropping, many crops grow at the same time, thus giving us a good amount of yield. For example, we can grow crops like wheat and mustard together in the same field without any hurdles. They will grow in abundance and gives us a good result.

By using this method, we can reduce many uncertainties. Because when we grow a single crop, we are not sure when the yield will be good. Sometimes it could be even worse, and the crops will get destroyed.

In that case, it will be a loss for the owner if we grow two or more crops together if one crop fails to produce the yield, the other two or more will save us from loss. This would be a great benefit for farmers. 

Another good thing about Mixed Cropping is soil fertility will be improved. Growing two or more crops together will automatically increase the fertility of the soil.

Insecticides will be reduced because the other crop will act as a shield to protect its partner crop. All these things will lead to bumper crop production. There are very few chances of loss.

mixed cropping

What is Intercropping?

Intercropping is a method where different types of crops will be grown, but it will be planted in rows. It is very much similar to mixed cropping. It is one of the convenient methods, and farmers use this method most of the time for cultivation.

It will reduce the cost and the time. Also, recent studies have shown that intercropping is significantly increasing in the cultivation part.

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For example, we can simply define it as planting a crop with another crop, but one crop should contain deeper roots, and the other should contain shallower roots.

This, in turn, will increase the cultivation and make the two crops stronger so that the end result will be good. The main reason behind intercropping is the higher yield when planting a single crop, as the yield will be much higher.

While trying the intercropping method, make sure you plant one crop with a higher maturity level while the other crop has a lower maturity level.

Simply put, one should have higher characteristics, and the other should have lower characteristics so there won’t be any discrepancies while planting them. There are different types of intercropping methods that are widely used. 


Main Differences Between Mixed Cropping and Intercropping

  1. In Mixed Cropping, there will be no pattern. On the other hand, in intercropping, there are certain rules, and some patterns will be followed.
  2. Seeds will be chosen in the correct format, and they will be properly mixed in mixed cropping. But on intercropping, they will not be mixed.
  3. In mixed cropping, farmers use the same fertilizers, manures, and pesticides for the different types of crops they are harvesting. But on intercropping, everything will be different.
  4. Mainly mixed cropping is used to reduce the failure of crops, but intercropping is used to increase the crop yield.
  5. In mixed cropping, all the crops planted will be harvested at the same time. On the other hand, in intercropping, they will be harvested at different times.
Difference Between Mixed Cropping and Intercropping
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0308521X87901090

Last Updated : 23 July, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Mixed Cropping vs Intercropping: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The insights into mixed cropping and intercropping provided by the article are enlightening. It’s important to understand the nuances of different farming methods.

    • Definitely. The article offers a comprehensive overview of these methods, allowing farmers to make informed decisions about their practices.

  2. The article thoroughly explains the differences and benefits of mixed cropping and intercropping. It’s valuable information for anyone involved in farming.

    • I agree. This knowledge is essential for farmers looking to improve their yields while maintaining sustainable practices.

  3. The section about how mixed cropping and intercropping can benefit soil fertility and reduce pest and disease problems is very intriguing.

    • Yes, I agree. It’s fascinating to see how different planting methods can have such a positive impact on the environment.

    • I’m glad the article mentioned the benefits for soil fertility and pest reduction. It’s crucial to think about sustainable farming techniques.

  4. The examples given for both mixed cropping and intercropping help to visualize the concepts. It’s great to see practical applications of these methods.

  5. The article’s detailed explanation of mixed cropping and intercropping is quite informative. It’s a valuable resource for those interested in sustainable agriculture.

  6. Thank you for explaining the differences between mixed cropping and intercropping. I found the comparison table particularly helpful.

  7. The information about mixed cropping and intercropping is enlightening. It’s clear that both methods have their advantages and disadvantages.

    • Absolutely. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each method to make the best decision for sustainable farming practices.

  8. I appreciate the thorough explanation of mixed cropping and intercropping. It’s evident that both methods have their place in sustainable agriculture.

    • Absolutely. It’s crucial to recognize the value of these methods and their contribution to sustainable farming.

    • I couldn’t agree more. This article sheds light on the importance of mixed cropping and intercropping in modern agriculture.

  9. I didn’t realize that mixed cropping and intercropping could have such an impact on crop yield and soil fertility. This article provides valuable insight.

    • I completely agree. Understanding the positive effects of mixed cropping and intercropping is essential for sustainable agricultural practices.

    • Yes, the article clearly highlights the positive effects of these methods. It’s eye-opening to see the benefits for farmers and the environment.

  10. I appreciate the detailed explanations of mixed cropping and intercropping. It’s essential knowledge for anyone interested in agriculture.


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