The practice of cultivating two or more crops simultaneously on the same piece of land is called mixed cropping. During mixed cropping, if one crop faces adverse conditions or pathogen attack then the other crop can be saved.The basic objective in mixed cropping is to minimize the risk and insure against the crop failure due to abnormal weather conditions. Eg wheat + mustard, groundnut+ sunflower etc.
Criteria for the selection of crops during mixed cropping:
- Crops should have different maturation time.
- Both crops should have different water requirements.
- The nutrient requirement of one crop should be lesser than the other.
- If one crop is deep rooted, the other has shallow roots.
- If one crop is tall, other should be dwarf.
Advantages of mixed cropping:
- Increase in yield
- Optimum utilization of soil
- Minimum pest infestation
- No risk of crop failure
- Farmers can harvest varieties of produce at the same time