Six of the eight intercrops were shown to yield more as an intercrop than as monocrops sown separately across an equivalent area of land. These mixes included faba bean and wheat, barley and peas, oats and peas, oats and crimson clover, wheat and red clover, and barley and red lentils. As seen from the yield graph below, peas did not emerge in this year’s intercrop trial, nor did canola due to excess moisture. The C.V. value corresponding with the yield analysis is 60.3, thus results should not be considered reliable.
Yield from each crop was different across all intercropping combinations (P≤0.0001). Pulses such as faba bean intersown with wheat and field pea intersown in barley and in canola reported the lowest yields. Barley intersown in both lentil and field pea, respectively, was higher yielding than other cereals such as oat, wheat and other types of main crops such as flax and canola. The North Peace weather is characterized for its long dry periods, where rains could turn out once a month and extensive heat can stress and jeopardize grain quality of main crops. It is also characterized for its soils with heavy clay, where moisture from rain periods can last for days and excess water is unable to filter through. Pulses require plenty of rain and soil moisture in order to produce competent yields. It is possible the dry periods occurring in the summer season compromised pulse yields while cereals were able to manage heat stress.
Number of insects per plot varied across weeks (P≤0.0001) and across intercrop combinations (P=0.0002). The interaction between weeks and intercropping combinations was the same (P=0.3690). The greatest number of insects was reported on the first week of August whereas the lowest was June 24, which coincided with a period of extreme heat and drought. Canola and field pea intercropping combination had the lowest number of insects compared to the rest of the combinations where numbers were statistically the same.
Crystal Green is a fertilizer of continuous release made by Ostara. This fertilizer acts by releasing nitrogen, phosphorus and magnesium upon expel of root exudated citrates. Since fertilizer dissemination is modulated by components released from roots, run-off and leaching is minimized. The extent of its benefits in different crops is yet unknown. Thus, Crystal Green was tested in oilseed, pulse and cereal crops in order to observe which formulation improves yield in each of these crop types.