SHORT CYCLE CROPS INTERCROPPED WITH PINEAPPLE: AN OPTION TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY
Human population overgrowth and environmental deterioration are forcing pineapple growers to make better use of their resources in order to produce for the market and satisfy their own food demand. By doing this they attempt to increase their production diversity and their economic profitability. Because the pineapple crop has a long cycle, some growers mainly those with scarce resources- foresee the opportunity to get cash income more quickly by growing short cycle row crops intertwined with pineapple. In order to improve these intercropping systems, INIFAP carried out several trials in: hot jalapeño pepper (Capsicum annum L.), dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), corn (Zea mays L.), and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) intercropped with pineapple. For each crop species, some of the following components were evaluated: varieties, planting densities, topologic arrangement, fertilizer rates, chemical weed control, and profitability. Pineapple planting density was 35,000 plants ha-1. Results showed that intercropping should be done by the 30th day after planting the pineapple. Varieties of the intercropped species did not affect pineapple, so the most productive ones already evaluated in this region should be used. Planting density and topologic arrangement vary according to crop species, but the excess of pineapple shadowing should be avoided: hot jalapeño pepper, two rows along the wide stripe only; for tomato and corn, only a row along the wide stripe; and for dry beans a row each for both the wide and narrow stripes. Fertilizer rates were: 150-100-60 kg ha-1 of N, P and K for either hot pepper or tomato; 120-46-30 for corn and 46-46-30 for dry beans. The more efficient herbicides were: Metribuzin 0.4 kg ha-1 for tomato, Linuron 1.5 kg ha-1 for dry beans, and Atrazine 3.0 L ha-1 for corn. The benefit/cost ratio was better for intercrops than for those planted alone. It is concluded that with appropriate crop management, a good fruit production and quality of pineapple could be obtained. Furthermore, intercropping benefits the short cycle crops, since pineapple protects them from heavy and intense rains and winds, and also some management practices and some inputs are shared by both crops, so costs are reduced.
Uriza-Ávila, D., Rebolledo-Martínez, A. and Rebolledo-Martínez, L. (2005). SHORT CYCLE CROPS INTERCROPPED WITH PINEAPPLE: AN OPTION TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY. Acta Hortic. 666, 287-294
Ananas comosus, intercropping, yield, hot pepper, corn, dry beans.