From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Polyculture is agriculture using multiple crops in the same space, in imitation of the diversity of natural ecosystems, and avoiding large stands of single crops, or monoculture. It includes multi-cropping, intercropping, companion planting, beneficial weeds, and alley cropping. It is the raising at the same time and place of more than one species of plant or animal.


Polyculture, though it often requires more labor, has several advantages over monoculture:

  • The diversity of crops avoids the susceptibility of monocultures to disease. For example, a study in China reported in Nature showed that planting several varieties of rice in the same field increased yields by 89%, largely because of a dramatic (94%) decrease in the incidence of disease, which made pesticides redundant.[1]

Polyculture is one of the principles of permaculture.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (August 17, 2000.) Genetic Diversity and Disease Control in Rice Nature 406, 718 - 722.

External links[edit]