Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student, Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran.

3 Professor, Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran.

4 Professor, Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tehran, Iran.

5 Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacognosy and Pharmacy, Institute of Medicinal Plants, ACECR, Karaj, Iran.


Some medicinal plants have an important role in production of fodder with high quality. While reducing the production costs, they protect the environment, water, and soil resources. On the other hand, mixed cultivation and application of organic and biological fertilizers or proper combination of these two with chemical fertilizers can be considered a solution to increase crop yield in sustainable agriculture. For this purpose, in order to investigate the effects of different treatments of fertilizer and ratios of mixed cultivation of Chicory and annual Medic, a factorial experiment has been conducted in a randomized complete block design with three replications at the experimental field located in Behbahan city in 2019-2020 growing season. The first factor has been different fertilizer sources (Chemical, Organic, and Integrated) in three levels: chemical fertilizer, vermicompost fertilizer and combined fertilizer (nitroxin biofertilizer + fertile phosphate 2 + 50% chemical fertilizer) and the second factor has been five intercropping patterns including: sole chicory (SC), sole annual medic (SM), one row of chicory: one row of annual medic (C1M1), one row of chicory: two rows of annual medic (C1M2) and two rows of chicory: one row of annual medic (C2M1). The studied traits are forage yield of chicory and annual medic and quality characteristics of forage including percentage and yield of crude protein, percentage of ash, crude fiber, dry matter digestibility, calcium, and phosphorus content of forage. The results show that the highest dry forage yields of chicory and medic (4.04 and 4.63 t/ ha, respectively) are obtained in monoculture and chemical fertilizer treatment. Mixed cultivation ratios and application of combined fertilizers and vermicompost improve crude protein and ash of medic and crude fiber of chicory forage without reducing any other quality traits. Evaluation of land equivalent ratio show the superiority of all mixed ratios over monoculture of these plants. Finally, mixed cultivation treatments C1M1 and C2M1 with a land equivalent ratio of 1.3 and a total yield of 5.44 and 4.95 tons per hectare and the application of combined fertilizer are recognized as superior treatments.


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