Research on the productivity and yield quality of maize (Zea mays L.) – pumpkin species (oil pumpkin – Cucurbita pepo var. Oleifera L., musk pumpkin – Cucurbita moschata Duch.) intercropping, in the organic agriculture system
Published in Scientific Papers. Series A. Agronomy, Vol. LV-2012
Written by Elena Mirela DUSA, Gheorghe Valentin ROMAN
The paper researches the productivity and yield quality of maize and two species of pumpkin (for instance oil pumpkin and musk pumpkin), in the intercropping system, in order to evaluate their adaptability to the natural conditions of South Romania and to organic cultivation. The experiments were carried out between 2007 and 2009, at Moara Domneasca Experimental Field, on reddish preluvosoil, in randomized variants, in 4 replications. The seeds used for the experiments were of organic type. The maize was sown at 70 cm distance between rows and the pumpkin species were sown in beds, at 1x1 m distance and 3-4 cm depth. When intercropped, the maize had a density of 5 plants/m2 and the pumpkin species of 2 plants/m2. The productivity compounds, the land equivalent ratio, the yields and the chemical composition of seeds were determined. The maize grown in monoculture had a yield of 34.25 q/ha. For comparison, the maize intercropped with oil pumpkin produced 31.68 q/ha and the maize intercropped with musk pumpkin had 31.17 q/ha. The oil pumpkin produced a yield of 6.57 q/ha when grown in monoculture; when intercropped, the yield was 2.69 q/ha smaller than when grown in monoculture (40.95%). The musk pumpkin gave 8.09 q/ha when grown in monoculture and produced 4.91 q/ha when intercropped with maize. The seeds from the maize intercropped with oil pumpkin contained 11.70% proteins, 4.98% fats and 66.23% starch and the maize intercropped with musk pumpkin contained 11.34% proteins, 5.08% fats and 66.12% starch. The oil pumpkin seeds in the intercrops had 35.48% proteins, 39.63% fats and 7.25% starch, and the musk pumpkin seeds had 27.66% proteins, 36.23% fats and 7.66% starch. The extension of those crops to a large scale is conditioned by the land weed infestation level and pest control, and also by maintaining and raising agricultural land fertility through organic agriculture measures (incorporation of crop residues; crop rotation with grain legumes; organic manure management).