Yacon planting density in intercropping with corn under banana orchard

ABSTRACT Yacon is a crop which requires development of strategies for its cultivation. One of the possibilities is to introduce yacon in perennial crops using intercropping system. The aim of this study was to evaluate different planting densities of yacon grown in intercropping with corn under banana orchard, verifying its development and production. At 90 days after planting, morphological and physiological evaluations were done, at 210 days yacon was harvested, and its productivity calculated using the fresh tuberous root production. The Area Equivalence Index (IEA), and the Relative Contribution of Crops (CRC) to IEA were calculated. Yacon development and production were hampered by the corn intercropping (under the banana orchard), regardless of the yacon density used. IEA increased with yacon and corn intercropping in relation to greater CRC of corn to the intercropping and its market value, the system presented higher gross income. Planting yacon under banana orchard optimizes the use of the area and it is profitable for the farmer, especially when yacon is planted in double rows, alternating between banana rows, spacing 0.3 and 0.4 m.