Difference Between Mixed Cropping and Intercropping (With Table)

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 such methods used for planting two or more crops at the same time in the same field so that the yield will be higher when compared with single cropping. 

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 on intercropping it is used for increasing the profit as well as the yield. So that 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 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 Between Mixed Cropping and Intercropping

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. 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.

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.

For example, we can simply define it as planting a crop with another crop but one crop should contain roots that are deeper and the other crop should contain roots that are shallower. 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 compared with planting a single crop as the yield will be very much higher.

While trying intercropping method make sure you plant one crop which has a higher maturity level while the other crop should have a lower maturity level. In simple words, one should have higher characteristics and the other should have lower characteristics so that 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 for increasing 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.

Conclusion

Mixed Cropping and Intercropping are in use for many years. The method will be used depending on the type of crop they are going to plant in the field so that the end result will be good. Also, when compared with Mixed cropping intercropping is used by many farmers as it has more advantages than mixed cropping and the end result is good.

Scientists are also predicting that intercropping will be used in the future more than mixed cropping. Because the main motive behind mixed cropping is to reduce the loss but intercropping helps to increase your profit as well as the yield. Even though the price is higher many people are suggesting that method for farming.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0308521X87901090
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