The idea of intercropping is becoming more popular.

Intercropping was one of the sessions last week as part of Crop Diagnostic School.

Saskatchewan's Ministry of Agriculture partnered on this year's virtual event with the South East Research Farm at Redvers.

Lana Shaw is the Research Manager and has done a lot of work over the years with intercropping and talked about the research she's been involved with. 

She says the idea of intercropping has been around for years, the concept involves growing two crops together, harvest them and then separate them.

One of Shaw's favorite intercropping combinations is chickpea/flax because you get a disease reduction.

"This ascochyta disease in chickpeas is really hard to deal with. The disease is becoming resistant to some of the fungicides and its something that makes chickpeas a relatively expensive and high risk crop to grow. So, if we can use intercropping to reduce the risk of the crops then that's generally a bottom line benefit to the farmers."

She adds the combination also results in better quality seed since the chickpeas aren't still trying to flower in August and September.

Along with the disease reduction benefits, intercropping can improve yield and soil health, as well as improving standability and harvestability.

Last year, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance reported coverage for intercropping acreage doubled to about 72,000 acres.