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Relay intercropping – Further developing a resource-conserving cultivation system for soya in mixed culture in practice

Title OriginalRelay Intercropping

Relay intercropping technique is intended to provide long soil cover and less tillage. Two crops are sown in the same spot with a certain delay. In this case, winter cereals are sown like a row crop, with spacing similar to tramlines between them. The soy is sown into the rows in May/June and grows with the grain until it is harvested. The winter grain provides shade to the soy, ideally enough to prevent weeds from germinating, but not too much to prevent the soy from being hindered in its development.

Later, the soy suppresses the weeds in the rows. After harvesting cereals at high cutting heights, the soy is well developed and can convert the light and heat of the summer and autumn months into yield until harvest. The additional soy harvest should more than compensate for any loss of yield in cereals.

In cooperation with organic and ÖLN farms, tactile tests are carried out to try out ideas on how to develop this cultivation technique. Every year, there will be a field visit and an evaluation event for the participants.

Financing/ Donor
  • Federal Office of Agriculture
  • Bio Suisse
  • Bodenschatzfachstelle des Kantons Bern
(Research) Program
  • Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) – Research, training and innovation
Project partners

Das Projekt wird von der Interessensgemeinschaft Relay-Intercropping, bestehend aus folgenden Organisationen getragen und umgesetzt: Fachstelle Bodenschutz Kanton Bern, Bärner Bio Bure, FiBL, Mühle Rytz Biberen BE, Ch. Uebelhard (Praktiker und Pionier mit Relay Intercropping Erfahrung), Agrofutura AG

FiBL project leader/ contact
FiBL project staff
Role of FiBL

Project partner

Research area
  • Cultivation Technique Arable Crops (Department of Soil Sciences)
  • Cultivation Technique Vegetable Crops (Department of Crop Sciences)
FiBL project number 10139
Date modified 20.12.2019
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