Benefits of a maize-bean-weeds mixed cropping system in Urubamba Valley, Peruvian Andes

Gianoli, E. and Ramos, I. and Alfaro-Tapia, A. and Valdéz, Y. and Echegaray, E.R. and Yábar, E. (2006) Benefits of a maize-bean-weeds mixed cropping system in Urubamba Valley, Peruvian Andes. International Journal of Pest Management, 52 (4). pp. 283-289.

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In the Urubamba Valley, Peruvian Andes, the abundance of insect pests and natural enemies was evaluated from September 2003 and March 2004 in experimental plots where maize was grown either as monoculture, intercropped with beans, or intercropped with beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) plus associated weeds (Amaranthus sp.). The consequences of the cropping system for maize yield were also assessed. The main insect pests recorded were Diabrotica spp., Carpophilus sp. and Pagiocerus frontalis, and their overall abundance did not differ among crop diversity treatments. However, there was a significant adverse effect of crop diversity on the maximum abundance of both Carpophilus and Pagiocerus. The main beneficial arthropods were Paratriphleps sp., ladybirds and spiders, and their density did not differ among treatments. Maize yield did not decrease with increasing plant diversity. The reported benefits of intercropping, together with the associated efficiency in land use, make this traditional agricultural practice a valuable alternative to the use of pesticides, particularly for resource-poor Andean farmers.

Item Type: Article
Author Affiliation: Departamento de Botánica, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla, 160-C Concepción, Chile
Subjects: Plant Protection > Pesticides
Plant Protection > Pests
Divisions: Maize
Depositing User: Mr B Krishnamurthy
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2010 20:30
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2010 19:54
Official URL:

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