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In the structure of sown crops, cereal mixtures constitute approx. 16%, covering an area of 1.34-1.45 million ha. Great interest in the cultivation of mixtures is related to their more faithful yields in relation to the sowing of pure cereals. In the case of unfavorable weather and soil conditions for one species, the other finds more favorable conditions and increases the yield level, compensating for the lower yield of the first component. In other conditions, the opposite may be the case, and thanks to this, the yield of the mixture is stabilized over the long term and in the space of a given growing area.
Yield fidelity is also favored by the lower susceptibility of the mixtures to diseases and lodging as well as better competitiveness against weeds.
Limiting the occurrence of plant diseases in the mixture is the effect of reducing the amount and thinning of plant tissue susceptible to a given disease and the impact of a species resistant to this disease (mainly oats) as a physical barrier preventing the spread of infectious material in the canopy. A similar biological mechanism makes the mixtures less susceptible to infestation by pests. Oats and wheat, as more resistant to lodging, are the support plants for barley and triticale. Due to the different habit of the plants present in the mixture, they demonstrate better competitiveness against weeds. In Poland (compared to other European countries), the soil quality varies the most in a small area (mosaic of fields), for which the mixtures are more tolerant than pure cereal sowing. Moreover, the mixtures do not require large investments in plant protection and fertilization.
In practice, the cereal mixtures are only used as feed.