Optimal distance between olive trees and annual crops in rainfed intercropping systemin northernMorocco

Author(s): Rachid Razouk, Khalid Daoui,Abdelhamid Ramdani,Abdelaziz Chergaoui

In order to optimize the distance between annual crops and olive tree (Olea europaea) in rainfed intercropping system in northern Morocco, vegetative growth and yield in associations based on olive-wheat (Triticum aestivum), olive-faba bean (Vicia faba) and olive-coriander (Coriandrum sativum) were evaluated at two sowing distances of crops: close to the olive trunk and from the limit of olive tree canopy. The results showed that vegetative growth and yield of olive tree were reduced by sowing wheat even from the canopy limit. In contrast, faba bean induced an improvement of olive production at the two tested sowing distances. However, coriander had no effect on olive tree whether sown below or outside the tree canopy. The annual crops were unproductive below the olive canopy and their production remained negatively affected outside the canopy until the limit of shading effect for faba bean and coriander and beyond this limit for wheat. We concluded that the sowing distance of crops associated with olive tree should be adjusted to minimize interspecific competition that concerns mainly light for crops cultivated during the olive dormancy period, such as faba bean and coriander. However, it concerns in addition the soil moisture and the nutrients for crops grown during the olive growing period, such as wheat.

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