Yield stability in varietal mixtures of faba bean

Last changed: 25 October 2023

Spatial and temporal variation in growth and N2 fixation is a major problem for the sustainability of legume cropping systems. In varietal mixtures, complementary tolerance to biotic and/or abiotic stress may lead to higher yield stability, while heterogeneity in chemical composition may be a potential disadvantage for the quality of harvested products. To investigate the potential of varietal mixtures for increased legume cropping sustainability, three varieties of faba bean, Vicia faba, were cultivated in field as single genotypes and in two- and three-varietal mixtures, with and without spring wheat as cereal intercrop. The experiments were repeated in two seasons (2011 and 2012) at three locations: Alnarp (Skåne, southern Sweden), Lanna (Västra Götaland, western Sweden) and Vreta Kloster (Östergötland, eastern Sweden). Harvests of whole-crop forage were performed in parts of the experimental plots at pod-fill, and grain harvests were done at full maturity. The project includes assessments of N2 fixation, product quality and the occurrence of the fungal pathogen Botrytis fabae, causing chocolate spot disease.


- Garlsson et al. 2016. Final report 2015 (updated 2016, in Swedish with summary in English).

- Holmberg I, 2013. Åkerböna - i ekologiska odlingssystem. Master´s thesis. Department of Biosystems and Technology SLU, Alnarp (in Swedish with summary in English).

Published MSc theses related to the project:



Project leader: Georg Carlsson

SLU collaborators: Erik Steen Jensen, Kerstin Huss-Danell and Mårten Hetta, (KHD and MH: dep. Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden)

Partner: Ann-Charlotte Wallenhammar, Swedish Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies (HS konsult AB).

Funding: SLU EkoForsk (2011-2014)