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1. The cultivation of two or more crops simultaneously on the same field, with or without a row arrangement (row intercropping or 'mixed intercropping'). 2. The growing of two or more crops on the same field with the planting of the second crop after the first one has already completed development. Also called relay cropping. Related terms: mixed cropping, multiple cropping
growing two or more different crops at the same time at a plot. For example, a carbohydrate-rich grain that deplets soil nitrogen and a protein-rich legume that adds nitrogen to the soil may be intercropped. Compare with monoculture, polyculture, polyvarietal cultivation.
Intercropping is the agricultural practice of cultivating two or more crops in the same space at the same time (Andrews & Kassam 1976). A practice often associated with sustainable agriculture and organic farming, intercropping is one form of polyculture. It is commonly used in tropical parts of the world and by various indigenous peoples (Altieri 1991), but in the mechanized agriculture of Europe, North America, and parts of Asia it is far less widespread.