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close this bookRegenerative Agriculture Technologies for the Hill Farmers of Nepal: An Information Kit (IIRR, 1992, 210 p.)
close this folderCropping systems and post-harvest technologies
View the documentRelay Planting of Winter Crops in Maize
View the documentOptimum Planting Density and Spacing for Maize
View the documentRice Technologies for Nepal Hills
View the documentFinger Millet in Nepal: An Improved Production System
View the documentIntercropping of finger millet (kodo) with crotalaria (sanai)
View the documentLentil (Sikhar) Cultivation for Grain and Fodder Froduction
View the documentSarkari Seto: A Traditional Potato Variety for the Hills
View the documentGrain Storage Management for the Hill Farmers
View the documentLong- Term Storage of Seed Potatoes Using the Diffused Light Storage Principle

Relay Planting of Winter Crops in Maize

Many farmers in the eastern hills can grow only one crop per year, mainly due to climatic limitations. Crops after the main maize crop suffer from drought or from an extended cold period reducing yields. The cold also delays harvest and the planting of the subsequent main maize crop.

Result of trials with farmers in the eastern hills have shown that various winter crops can be successfully relaycropped into maize. These crops include lentil, barley, wheat, fava bean, peas and possibly others. This system provides extra food and income for farm families, and extra fodder for their livestock at a time when fodder is normally scarce. Other benefit include

· Reduced soil erosion because soil is kept covered all winter.

· Increased manure from the livestock having more feed.

· Maize which is planted from April-May (depending upon availability of soil moisture) comes into reproductive stage during August/September.

· Minimal work (e.g., fuming soil before planting the winter crop) is required where seeds are either dibbled or broadcast. During August/September, one of the winter crops can be planted within the maize field.

· Weeds should be controlled in the maize crop to increase early growth of the relay crop.

· Slightly wider maize spacing will also enhance early growth of-the relay crop.

· Maize is harvested during September/October and other winter crops, depending on their maturity period, are harvested beginning from the end of February.


Characteristics of the crops that can be relay cropped include: early maturity, drought tolerance, and cold tolerance.