The profitability of mixed cropping with winter faba bean and winter wheat
One possibility to increase the biodiversity in German agriculture is mixed cropping. The simultaneous cultivation of legumes and non-legumes can inter alia help to save synthetic nitrogen fertilizers. However, this form of cultivation is currently not widespread in Germany and the availability of information is low from a practical point of view. In particular, only very limited information about the economic efficiency of different mixed cropping combinations is available. Against this background, this paper evaluates the profitability of mixed stands using the example of winter faba bean and winter wheat based on the results of a field trial. The results indicate that mixed cropping with winter faba bean and winter wheat in the implemented form is currently not economically competitive in conventional German agriculture. However, mixed cropping in the present form seems to be suitable especially for sites with poorer site characteristics. The results of the sensitivity analysis of a whole-farm optimization model show that the gross margins of the mixed stands would even have to surpass that of the dominantly produced cereals in pure stand.