What do you understand by Relay Cropping? Discuss its advantages and disadvantages vis-à-vis other cropping patterns.
Hint: In Relay cropping second crop is planted even before the first crop is harvested. Thus, both crops share some part of the season. In India, Rice –cauliflower – onion-summer gourd is one example of relay cropping.
- Less risk since yields do not depend on one crop alone.
- Better distribution of labor.
- Some diseases and insects appear to spread less rapidly under intercropping.
- Better erosion control due to better ground cover.
- Any legumes involved may add some nitrogen to the soil.
- Mechanization is difficult.
- Management requirements are higher.
- Overall costs per unit of production may be higher due to reduced efficiency in planting, weeding and harvesting.