Maximizing Land and Water Productivity by Intercropping Sunflower with Peanut under Sprinkler Irrigation

Amira A. El-Mehy , Ahmed M. Taha and Ahmed M. M. Abd-Allah

Effective intercropping pattern, use of highly efficient irrigation system and proper irrigation scheduling are one of the current challenges in agriculture sector for saving water, maximizing crop production and economic benefits. Thus, a two-year field experiment was conducted at Ismailia Research Station (30o 35' N latitude, 30o 26' E longitude, 20.0m above MSL), Egypt during the two growing seasons of 2016 and 2017 to study the effect of three irrigation treatments (1.2, 1.0 and 0.8 ETo calculated by the BIS model) and five peanut/sunflower intercropping patterns ((P1 = 100% peanut + 25 % sunflower), (P2 = 100% peanut + 33% sunflower), (P3 = 100% peanut + 50% sunflower), (P4 = sole peanut), and (P5 = sole sunflower)) on yield and its components of both crops, applied irrigation water, consumptive use, land and water productivity and net income. The experimental layout was designed in strip plot with three replicates. The results indicated that light intensity percentage significantly decreased with the 1.2 ETo treatment. The highest values of growth and yield of pod, seed and oil of peanut and sunflower were detected with the application of 1.2 ETo. Intercropping sunflower with peanut significantly reduced the yield of both crops in both seasons. However, intercropping sunflower at low density (P1) recorded the maximum values for yield and yield components of peanut, compared to the P2 and P3 treatments. The highest values of applied water (451 and 439mm) and consumptive use (403 and 415mm) were obtained in the first and second growing seasons, respectively when P3 (100% P + 50% S) was irrigated with 1.2 of ETo. Intercropping sunflower with peanut increased water use efficiency (kg/mm or cereal unit/mm) compared with sole crop. The average of water equivalent ratio was highest (1.255) produced with P3 under 1.0 ETo treatment, as average of both growing seasons. The maximum value of land equivalent ratio (1.569) and net income (L.E. 22589/ha) were recorded with P3 intercropping pattern irrigated with 1.2 of ETo treatment, on average basis of both growing seasons. Sunflower was the dominant component for the all intercropping systems, while peanut was the dominated crop. Thus, we recommend the implementation of P3 intercropping system, namely 100% peanut + 50% sunflower irrigated with 1.2 of ETo to increase land productivity in sandy soil under sprinkler irrigation or with 1.0 of ETo to save on the applied irrigation water, with yield  lose were low. Under severe drought conditions, we recommended application of 0.8 ETo.


Keywords: Sprinkler irrigation, BIS model, Water productivity, Intercropping patterns, Peanut, Sunflower.