Overview of the advantages and limitations of maize-soybean intercropping in sustainable agriculture and future prospects: A review

Deborah Joy Blessing1, Yan Gu1*, Manjun Cao1, Yue Cui1, Xiaowen Wang1, and Bismark Asante-Badu2
Intercropping has benefited the global agricultural sector in several ways. It is a critical farming practice for long-term productivity, agro-ecological improvement, land management, and land use. It is a well-known method to increase soil health and crop productivity. The impact of intercropping on the yield and production of maize (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) has been investigated at the leaf, stem, and root level. However, there is limited information about how to determine the best planting density for maize-soybean intercropping (MSI). The benefits and drawbacks of MSI are discussed in this review. Intercropping maize and soybean improves resource use, lodging resistance, and pest and weed control according to the existing research. Furthermore, soybean has low light use efficiency (LUE) and radiation use efficiency (RUE) due to the deep shade created by the maize canopy. As a result, more research is required to discover the optimal planting density to improve light and radiation efficiency.
Keywords: Agricultural sustainability, future prospect, maize-soybean intercropping, soil erosion.
1Jilin Agricultural University, College of Agronomy, 2888 Xincheng Street, Changchun 130118, China.
*Corresponding author (guyan810831@163.com).
2Jilin Agricultural University, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, 2888 Xincheng Street, Changchun 130118, China.