Difference Between Mixed Cropping and Intercropping

Rice, wheat, vegetables and other plants grown in a large scale for profit and survival is known as a crop. Based on the climatic characteristics, the nature of the land and other factors, various cropping systems are practised by farmers. Among them, two of the most commonly followed practices are the mixed cropping and intercropping.

  • Mixed Farming refers to a cropping system where two or more crops are cultivated in the same piece of land simultaneously. This technique is practised to reduce the risk of total crop failure because of less rainfall or adverse climatic conditions.
  • Intercropping is a cropping technique in which two or more crops are cultivated simultaneously in the same piece of land adhering to a specific row pattern in order to increase the productivity of the crops. This technique is generally followed by small farmers who are completely dependent on the rainfall for better yield and do not have any other options like canals and tube wells, etc.

Here, in this article, various differences between mixed cropping and intercropping are provided in a tabular column.

Intercropping Vs Mixed Cropping

Intercropping Mixed Cropping
The main objective is to utilise the space left between the rows of the main crop The main objective here is to get at least one crop in a favourable condition
Specific planting pattern followed No planting pattern followed
Different fertilizers and pesticides are used for different crops Same fertilizers and pesticides used for all the crops
Seeds aren’t mixed before sowing Seeds are mixed before sowing
Followed to increase the productivity of crops Followed to reduce the risk of crop failures due to unfavourable climatic conditions
There is a considerable difference in the life cycle and the duration of maturity in different crops All crops have a similar life cycle and duration of maturity

The above listed are a few of the differences between intercropping and mixed cropping. The yield of various crops in mixed cropping is harvested and marketed in a mixed form. While the yield of various crops in intercropping is harvested and marketed at different times.

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