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MULTIPLE CROPPING SYSTEMS
Food and Fertilizer Technology Center
for the Asian and Pacific Region
116 Huai Ning Street, Taipei
Taiwan, Republic of China
Multiple cropping is a special feature of agricultural development in Taiwan. The
earliest use of this cropping pattern can be traced to the time of the mass migration
from mainland China several centuries ago. Among those who came here were farmers
from South China, where multiple cropping had already been practised for a long time.
This cropping system has been described in a previous work of mine, "Agricultural
Resources of China," published by the Cornell University Press, U. S.A., 1951.
The practice of multiple cropping is firmly established in Taiwan, through the ac-
cumulation of experience and successful extension during the last few decades. Cur-
rently, a considerable amount of food, feed and vegetables and several kinds of in-
dustrial crops are produced under this cropping system.
Since the diversification of agriculture has received the attention of agricultural
researchers and leaders in many parts of the world, the practice of multiple cropping
in Taiwan has become widely known, especially among tropical and subtropical coun-
tries, which are trying to enrich their food supply by adopting this type of system.
This has been brought about through the despatch of agricultural missions to develop-
ing countries by the Government of the Republic of China, or on-the-spot training of
foreign agricultural workers in Taiwan. When Dr. Richard Bradfield was a special
consultant to IRRI in the 1960's, he initiated the multiple cropping research program at
that Center and came to Taiwan several times to make personal observations in the
In Taiwan, there are a few publications dealing specially with multiple cropping
systems, such as Dr. Eikichi Iso's book "Rice and Crops in Its Rotation in Subtropical
Zones" and Dr. C. P. Cheng's paper on "Multiple Cropping Practised on Paddy Fields
in Taiwan." Some articles also give fragamentary research findings. The ASPAC
Food and Fertilizer Technology Center has now collected all the related technical in-
formation together with technical papers written by local specialists and compiled
them into this volume. It gives a comprehensive picture of the multiple cropping sys-
tem as practised in Taiwan.
Dr. Y. Ishizuka has shown great interest and enthusiasm in carrying out this
piece of comprehensive work, for which he deserves high praise. It is hoped that, with
the publication of this book, the nature of the multiple cropping system can be more
- i -
precisely understood and more widely known in other parts of the world. The work
will also serve as a useful reference to those engaged in boosting crop production in
food-shortage areas, where the natural conditions are conducive to the adoption of
T. H. Shen
- ii -
The multiple cropping system as developed in Taiwan is one of the most advanced
technical systems in agriculture. This is a system designed to increase the produc-
tivity of an area of land by growing more crops in the same piece of land in a given
time. It is practicable only where the temperatures are favorable for the growth of
crops throughout the year.
Most of our member countries fall into this category but are under the pressure of
having a high population suffering from a shortage of staple foods.
In view of these facts, the Center is organizing a training course on "Multiple
Cropping in Taiwan" every year; this course is very much appreciated, not only by the
participants, but also by member governments. Unfortunately, as the budget of the
Center is limited, we are able to invite only two or three participants from each of the
member countries at each training course. Therefore, there have been many requests
from participants to publish a guide book on multiple cropping in Taiwan, written in
English, so that all agriculturists in member countries can learn about the techniques
involved. Although there are many scientific reports on multiple cropping in Taiwan,
most of these are written in Chinese, and are not readily understood by foreigners.
Therefore, the Center has decided to publish this book in English, in order to en-
able agriculturists in member countries to read about this important subject and to dis-
seminate this information to a wider audience throughout the world.
Dr. T. H. Shen, Administrator of the Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction,
kindly contributed the "Foreword" for this book. On behalf of the Center, I would like
to express our sincere appreciation of this encouraging gesture.
Although this book has been compiled and edited by the Center almost all the mate-
rial within it has been provided by Chinese scientists. The main contributors are:
Mr. Wang, Tzu-tao
Taichung District Agricultural Improvement Station
Mr. Wang, Chin-tang
Taichung District Agricultural Improvement Station
- 111 -
Dr. Cheng, Chien-pan
Mr. Yang Pai-chun
Taiwan Sugar Research Institute
Mr. Chow Yun-feng
Kaohsiung District Agricultural Improvement Station
Mr. Wong, Chun-muh
Acting Deputy Director/Agronomist
Mr. Lee, Dong-bai
I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the above contributors. With-
out their support, this book would not have materialized.
I would also like to express thanks to Mr. John C. Feng, the Chief of the Admin-
istration Section of the Center, who helped us to translate many Chinese manuscripts
I would especially like to express my sincere appreciation to Mr. A. V. Allo, the
former Information Officer of the Center, who was very anxious to publish this book
and who has made every effort to express the contributors' thoughts in clear and sim-
ple English, in spite of his heavy commitments since retiring from the Center.
- iv -
Foreword . . . . . . . .
Acknowledgement . . . . . . . . .
Chapter 1 History of Multiple Cropping in Taiwan . . .
Chapter 2 Agricultural Geography of Taiwan . . . .
Chapter 3 Leading Multiple Cropping Systems in Taiwan . .
Chapter 4 Technical Background . . . . . . .
Chapter 5 Economic Analysis of Multiple Cropping . . .
Chapter 6 Social and Economic Background . . . .
Chapter 7 Government Policy . . . . . ... .
Chapter 8 Further Improvement . . . . . . .
Chapter 9 Application of the Taiwan Multiple Cropping System to
Other Asian Countries . . . . . .
. . . i
. . . iii
. . . 1
. . 12
. . 23
. . 5
. . 57
. . 63
. . 65
. . 67
. . 72
- v -
HISTORY OF MULTIPLE CROPPING IN TAIWAN
Taiwan is situated in a subtropical climate where the temperatures are warm and
suitable for growing crops the whole year round. On paddy fields, farmers generally
grow two crops of rice and two to three upland crops or vegetables; this system of in-
tensive farming, with four, or five crops a year, is very popular in an area with a good
irrigation system. However, this type of crop rotation has not been established over
night, but is the result of years of effort, made by technicians and farmers during the
past 300 years, when agriculture was introduced by the growing pf one crop of rice a
Unfortunately, however, there are no historical records of the time when agricul-
ture was first started in Taiwan. Although a large number of Chinese emigrated from
Mainland China during the late Ming Dynasty (1522-66), very few were engaged in farm-
ing. According to "Tung-fan Chi" (1602), the aborigines were already growing rice,
soybeans, phaseolus, sesame, Job's tears (Coix Lacryma-Jobi), sweet potatoes, Chi-
nese onions, ginger, sugarcane, etc. Rice was planted on the hills when the weeds
were blooming; harvesting was carried out by cutting the rice stems with a small knife;
it is supposed that, in these early days of agricultural development, the aborigines
used the direct-seeded method to grow one crop of rice. When the Dutch occupied Tai-
wan in 1624, they were anxious to develop trade, exporting sugar, deer skins and
horns to Japan and Iran, and importing food from other countries, for instance, rice
from Thailand and Japan. The problem of food production was entirely neglected.
Later, when the Ching (Manchurians) invaded South China and the Fukien Prov-
ince, bringing famines in their train, Chinese emigrants to Taiwan increased to about
50,000 persons. The numbers of aborigines and non-Chinese were then 200,000 and
3,000 respectively and the food supply became in short supply. Consequently, the Ad-
ministration had to encourage food production by the provision of working buffaloes,
farm tools and a capital fund for reclaiming new land. During this period, ponds and
reservoirs were constructed and seven deep wells were drilled. In addition, rice va-
rieties from Thailand and the Philippines, garden peas, buckwheat, tobacco, tomatoes,
etc. were introduced for trial plantings. In 1661, Koxinga led an army of 37,000 sol-
diers and took over Taiwan from the Dutch. After this, another 30,000 emigrants
moved from Mainland China; these, together with the 50,000 persons who had previous-
ly emigrated made a total of about 120,000 new emigrants. In order to supply food for
- 1 -
the increasing population and reserves in the case of counter-attacking the mainland,
Koxinga adopted the policy of utilizing soldiers to construct 17 reservoirs, 3 ponds and
12 waterways, in order to encourage the land reclamation work. According to the re-
cords, there were, at this time, 7,534 ha of paddy fields and 10,919 ha of upland.
Most of the paddy fields were planted in rice only once a year during the monsoon sea-
son, owing to the shortage of water, and were called "Weather-depending fields". The
rice crop in such cases is named the "intermediate crop" because the planting season
is later than that of the first crop but earlier than the second crop of a double-rice
field, depending on the time of arrival of adequate rain. Insect or typhoon damage was
also heavy at the flowering and harvesting stages in these intermediate crops.
At the beginning of the Ching Dynasty (1684), farmers started to organize them-
selves to develop irrigation schemes, which enabled the planting of two crops of rice a
year, while more Chinese emigrated to Taiwan to develop land and construct irrigation
facilities. During the Ching administration, the area of paddy fields increased to
200,000 hectares, of which 100,747 hectares had irrigation facilities. Many rice va-
rieties were introduced by farmers. In the late 19th century, there were 447 varieties
grown in the first crop, 736 varieties in the second crop and 182 varieties in the "in-
termediate" crop. The varieties grown most extensively for these crops were 72, 57
and 18 respectively. In addition to rice, upland crops such as wheat, sorghum, jute,
cotton and tobacco were also introduced from overseas. At the same time, vegetables
were extensively grown, including cabbages, mustard, Chinese kale, Chinese cab-
bages, celery, spinach, lettuces, garland chrysanthemum, edible amaranth, coriander,
Welsh onions, Chinese leeks, day-lilies, coba (Zizania latifolia), water chestnuts, gin-
ger, radishes, yambeans, yams, cucumbers, oriental pickling melons, sponge melons,
pumpkins, wax gourds, balsam pears, eggplants, kidney beans, lima beans, asparagus
beans, etc. These vegetables were usually grown in the winter season, after the sec-
ond rice crop had been harvested, and before the planting of the first crop of the fol-
lowing year; this gave an interval of about three months. Therefore, we may consider
that the system of three crops a year was practised during the Ching Dynasty.
From 1895 to 1945, Taiwan was controlled by the Japanese. In 1901, the Japanese
Government laid down the policy for governing Taiwan by commencing a survey of land
and forest 'resources and the development of communications in order to encourage and
protect the investment from Japan proper. These surveys were carried out thoroughly
and established the foundation for the development of the rice and sugarcane industries.
The Japanese Government also established the Taipei Agricultural Research Institute
in 1896, and, later, 10 branch stations under its control; at the Prefectural level,
agricultural experiment stations and livestock breeding stations were set up. In 1928,
the Taipei Imperial University was founded, while the Sugar Research Institute and
Tobacco Research Institute were established in 1932 and 1943 respectively, to under-
- 2 -
take research projects for various crops.
The most outstanding achievement in agricultural development made. by the Japa-
nese was the construction and repair of irrigation facilities. They repaired the old and
built new irrigation channels, as planned after the completion of the investigation into
water resources. In 1921, irrigation associations were organized to accelerate irri-
gation and drainage operation, and also to expand irrigation projects.
The reclamation of new land was not neglected. The peak record of cultivated land
during the period of Japanese administration reached 860,438 ha, of which 529,609 ha
were registered as paddy fields with irrigation and drainage facilities (324,202 ha of
double-rice and 205,407 ha of single rice) and 330,829 ha as upland fields.
Formal meteorological observations and recording began in 1896, with the estab-
lishment of the Weather Bureau. Since then, the working units dedicated to agricul-
tural development have been benefited by the well compiled and analysed weather data
produced by the Bureau. The availability of this weather data has made possible the
dev-lopment of a basic multiple cropping system.
The torrential rains resulting from frequent typhoons during the summer are the
primary cause of serious soil erosion and leaching. In order to cope with this prob-
lem, systematic surveys on soils and the water quality of the major streams were ini-
tiated in 1910. This work supplemented geological studies previously carried out. All
these pioneer works contributed greatly to agricultural development during recent
Fertilizer experiments resulted in considerable increases in fertilizer applica-
tion, which, in turn, not only increased crop yields, but also accelerated the develop-
ment of Taiwan's multiple cropping system. From 1912 to 1938, chemical fertilizer
application increased from 81 kg to 739 kg per hectare per year. Manures applied also
increased from 2,795 kg to 10,207 kg. Correspondingly the yield of brown rice in-
creased by 85% from 1,201 kg/ha to 2,217 kg/ha.
In carrying out crop breeding work, the various agricultural experiment stations
placed equal emphasis on selection among native varieties and on the introduction of
foreign varieties from Southeast Asia, Japan, the United States, Europe, etc. New
crops, including flax, crotalaria, Irish potatoes, etc. were introduced to the island
during this period. In 1929, with its success in the breeding of the rice variety' Tai-
chung No. 65, the Taichung District Agricultural Improvement Station (DAIS') proved
that the japonica types of rice, which normally grow in the temperate zone, could fully
be improved to adapt to a tropical habitat without any reduction in yield, even though
the growth period was shortened.
In order to meet the requirements of the multiple cropping system, in 1938 the Tai-
- 3 -
chung DAIS turned out another distinguished rice variety, "Taichung No. 150". Fur-
thermore, as the result ol crossbreeding experiments, the Taichung DAIS produced
new varieties of tobacco, and wheat (Taichung Nos. 2 32) for multiple cropping.
The development of the relay interplanting system has been a major step leading to
full scale multiple cropping. The so-called "relay interplanting" actually means an
overlapping of growth periods of two crops in the same piece of land. When the growth
period of a crop exceeds the number of days between two rice crops, the crop may be
planted between the rows of rice 10 to 50 days prior to the harvesting of the rice. Con-
sequently, this crop may reach maturity and be harvested before the planting time of
the next rice crop. For instance,if sweet potatoes are planted after the harvest of the
second crop of rice of the year, this time will be too late in the season and the growth
period will be ,so short that the crop will produce no tubers; it will produce only vines
to be used for stockfeed. On the other hand, if the sweet potato seedlings are planted
between the rice rows 20-25 days before the rice is harvested, well developed tubers
will be produced, to add to the income of the farmer. If more space is provided, by
transferring one row of rice plants to the two neighboring rows, and the sweet potato
seedlings are planted in this space 45-50 days before the rice harvest, the output of
tubers will be 70-100% higher than that from the normal interplanting method.
No official record is available to show the history of the development of the relay
interplanting system. However, village traditions indicate that a farmer in Huwei is
believed to be the person who first adopted this method. This farmer observed that the
vines of a winter sweet potato crop which had an opportunity to invade an adjacent field
of rice could produce good tubers in March of the following year. The earliest mention
of relay interplanting in official records states that, in 1931, Mr. Chang Yu-pei raised
his sugarcane output by 20-30%, by planting sugarcane between the rows of rice one
month before the rice harvest. This attracted the attention of the authorities and,
since then, serious studies have been carried out by the District Agricultural Improve-
An earlier type of multiple cropping pattern was developed to include four crops
in a cycle. An early ripening rice variety was selected for the first crop of rice com-
bined with the relay interplanting of oriental pickling melons or sesbania, to be follow-
ed by a second crop of rice combined with sweet potatoes, wheat, tobacco, snow peas,
corn or any one of a number of vegetables (Fig. 1). The adoption of this pattern by
farmers was. slow until 1939-1940 after which it gained momentum. Before 1945, the
most popular crops for multiple cropping were wheat (10,450 ha), barley (3,150 ha),
tobacco (5,524 ha), flax (10,435 ha), rape (1,016 ha) and potatoes (489 ha). When the
cropping pattern involves rice and sugarcane, special arrangements are necessary,
because of the extremely long growing period of sugarcane (16-19 months). Usually
- 4 -
the first crop of rice is planted in late February and harvested in late June, From the
middle of June until late July, a summer crop is inserted. The second crop of rice will
then take up the period from late July to late October or early November. Sugarcane is
relay-planted in September alongside the rows of the second crop of rice and har-
vested in February of the third calendar year. After the second crop of rice is har-
vested in November, an additional crop may be raised between the rows of sugarcane
seedlings. This crop may be either sweet potatoes, flax, buckwheat, potatoes, or some
species of brassica. By so doing, five crops may be raised in 25 months (Fig. 2).
Still another special arrangement has been designed for fields where irrigation water
is available for the rice crop only in one of every three years. The sequence of crops
in this arrangement is: first crop of rice, a summer crop, second crop of rice, relay-
planted sugarcane (September of the first year to February of the third year), ratooned
sugarcane (February of the third year to February of the fourth year). In the early
stages of each of the two sugarcane crops, one more crop may be raised between the
rows of sugarcane, so that seven crops are grown in 36 months, including two rice
crops, two sugarcane crops, one summer crop (or green manure) and two interplanted
crops (Fig. 3). From 1938 to 1945, the total acreage covered by the rice-sugarcane
patterns expanded to more than 30,000 ha.
When the Second World War ended in 1945, irrigation facilities for 263,234 ha (or
one half of the total irrigated area in Taiwan) were damaged or not properly maintain-
ed. This, combined with a shortage of chemical fertilizers and a decreased acreage
planted to crops, was the reason why the annual output of brown rice fell to the low
figure of 638,828 metric tons. The average yield of the first crop of rice dropped to a
meager 1,475 kg of brown rice per hectare, and the second crop of rice to an even
lower 1,099 kg. Thus, in 1946, home grown rice was in very short supply.
Under this situation, it became inevitable that the new administration established
by the Chinese Government in Taiwan must devote most of its efforts to the rehabilita-
tion of agricultural production, These efforts were further emphasized after the Cen-
tral Government of the Republic of China had transferred to Taiwan. During the fol-
lowing 28 years, the hard work of the people, actively supported by the Government,
has resulted in the reconstruction of the whole of Taiwan's agricultural production,
which has been greatly expanded and improved. Multiple cropping has been one of the
major elements in this program of improvement.
- 5 -
Fig. 1. Multiple Cropping Pattern Rice and Crops with a Short
Month 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2
1 st crop 2nd crop
of rice of rice
17 / /
Summer crop Winter crop
Fig. 2. Multiple Cropping Pattern Rice and Sugarcane Under
Month .1 12 34 5 6 7 8 9101111121 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9101111121 2
1st crop 2nd crop
of rice of rice
/7 /Relay-interplanted sugarcane
Summer crop Winter intercrop
Fig. 3. Multiple Cropping Pattern Rice and Sugarcane When
Irrigation Available in Only One of Every Three Years
Month 12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9110 11 121 2 3 4 12 12 1 234 5i 11'21
/1111 / 7
1 st crop 2nd crop
of rice of rice
/ /Relay interplanted sugarcane/ Ratooned
Summer crop Winter intercrop Winter intercrop
In the quarter century from 1945 to 1971, multiple cropping has become more and
more popular among the farmers of Taiwan (Table 1). During this period, this system
has been painstakingly refined and intensified. In the Taichung area, 80% .of the rice
fields are planted in a winter crop following the second crop of rice. However, in the
same area, only 2% of the rice fields are planted in other crops after the first rice
crop. In the large area to the south of Taichung, where irrigation water is available,
- 6 -
Table 1. Crops Produced in Paddy Fields Under the
Multiple Cropping Pattern in Taiwan, 1970
Area (ha) Production (M.T.)
Crop Multiple Total per Multiple Total per
cropping annum cropping annum
(A) (B) (A/B) (C) (D) (C/D)
Vegetables 83,270 141,540 58.8 1,0i2,303 1,685,191 60.7
Corn 10,699 22,641 47.0 30,n30 57,416 52.3
Soybeans 32,743 42,749 76.6 52,355 65,174 80.1
Sweet Potatoes 39,894 228,713 17.4 412,950 3,440,639 12.0
Wheat 2,003 2,003 100.0 3,664 3,664 100.0
Flax 3,125 3,125 100.0 9,882 9,882 100.0
Tobacco 10,932 11,053 98.9 20,640 20,800 99.5
Source of data: Compiled by Dr. Cheng Chien-pan from "Taiwan Agricultural
Yearbook, 1970, Taiwan Provincial Department of Agricul-
ture and Forestry.
multiple cropping has also been taken up widely and rapidly. The recorded highest
acreages of various crops grown in rice fields in Taiwan during the interval between
the two rice crops is as follows:
Sweet potatoes 50,135 ha. (1963)
Corn 10,699 (1970)
Soybeans 38,157 (1967)
Tobacco 11,952 (1969)
Rape 19,598 (1964)
Flax 5,524 (1965)
Potatoes 2,912 (1971)
Peas 1,904 (1971)
Oriental pickling melons 1,023 (1971)
Musk melons 797 (1971)
Jute 412 (1964)
Green manure 539,031 (1964)
According to the survey records of the Taiwan Provincial Department of Agricul-
ture and Forestry, in the period from 1964 to 1965, 150,000 ha. (or 44.92%) of the
333,930 ha. of rice fields planted in two crops a year were planted in follow-up crops
after the rice harvest. An additional 84,390 ha. of the two-rice-crops-a-year fields
may grow more than two crops when irrigation facilities are improved.
- 7 -
Table 2. Cultivated Land Area, Crop Area and Multiple Cropping Index in Taiwan
Cultivated land (ha.) Crop area (ha.)
Year P y U d T l Re Common Special Vege-mure Included Not incl. index
Paddy Upland Total Rice Fruits* manure
crops crops tables green green
____ (a) ____(b) (c) b/a c/4
1941 527,981 331,465 859,446 646,914 181,254 272,397 43,890 39,264 208,625 1,392,344 1,183,719 1.62 1.38
1945 504,709 311,307 816,016 502,018 161,363 186,882 18,593 35,319 153,886 1,058,061 904,175 1.30 1.11
1947 516,378 317,573 833,951 677,558 258,492 163,744 31,'591 62,198 179,287 1,372,870 1,193,583 1.65 1.43
1952 533,643 342,457 876,100 785,73P 314,671 296,332 32,409 77,281 207,103 1,713,526 1,506,423 1.96 1.72
1957 533,144 340,119 873,263 783,267 343,435 321,030 31,565 84,194 139,760 1,703,251 1,563,491 1.95 1.79
1958 533,674 349,792 883,466 778,189 355,872 333,169 36,385 87,298 137,283 1,728,196 1,590,913 1.96 1.80
1959 528,762 348,978 877.740 776,050 361,915 331,233 36,616 87,280 132,136 1,725,230 1,593,094 1.97 1.82
1960 525,580 343,643 869,223 766,409 372,893 327,349 37,772 91,601 121,544 1,717,568 1,596,024 1.98 1.84
1961 528,149 343,610 871,759 782,510 372,550 333,939 41,069 90,556 115,546 1,736,170 1,620,624 1.99 1.86
1962 530,354 341,504 871,858 794,228 364,745 316,573 43,654 94,247 114,718 1,728,165 1,613,447 1.98 1.85
1963 528,709 343,499 872,208 749,220 364,659 329,479 65,953 101,685 102,254 1,713,250 1,610,996 1.96 1.85
1964 531,790 350,449 882,239 764,935 367,023 342,207 82,513 101,107 91,233 1,749,018 1,657,785 1.98 1.87
1965 536,772 352,791 889,563 772,918 353,147 356,283 94,009 108,808 79,528 1,764,693 1,685,165 1.98 1.89
1966 537,399 358,948 896,347 788,635 362,337 331,003 107,215 112,886 76,897 1,778,973 1,702,076 1.99 1.90
1967 537,575 364,832 902,407 787,097 364,168 310,009 113,541 114,754 74,247 1,763,816 1,689,569 1.96 1.87
1968 535,288 364,638 899,926 789,906 358,581 310,383 117,152 118,462 64,079 1,758,563 1,694,484 1.95 1.88
1969 537,377 377,486 914,863 786,592 341,725 303,560 119,421 133,594 59,006 1,743,898 1,684,892 1.91 1.84
1970 528,927 376,336 905,263 776,139 332,903 281,578 119,900 141,540 44,740 1,696,800 1,652,060 1.87 1.83
1971 525,761 376,856 902,617 753,451 325,583 275,180 117,607 146,706 41,166 1,659,693 1,618,527 1.84 1.79
1972 520,580 378,023 898,603 741,570 312,893 260,936 109,584 148,557 37,653 1,611,193 1,573,540 1.79 1.75
*Figures prior to 1963 represent harvested hectarage
Source: Taiwan Agricultural Yearbook
Compiled by: FFTC, April 1974
Table 3. Area of Cultivated Land, Planted Acreage and Multiple Cropping Index by District in Selected Years
Cultivated land (ha)(A) Planted acreage (ha; Multiple
Area Common Special crops Horticultural crops Green Total index
Paddy Upland Total Rice [ manure Incl. Not incl.
crops Perennial Annual Total Fruits Vegetables Total crops green(B) green (C) B/A C/A
S_ manure manure
Source of data: Taiwan Agricultural Yearbook
Compiled by FFTC, April 1974
Source of data: Taiwan Agricultural Yearbook
Compiled by FFTC, April 1976
The above Table 2 illustrates changes that have occurred in the planted area of
various crops over past years.
Table 3 shows changes of crop area in different districts in Taiwan in selected
From these two tables, we can adduce the following facts.
As a result of the efforts of the Government in developing water resources, the
area of paddy land under irrigation has been maintained steadily at 520,000 ha for the
last 20 years, in spite of the fact that a considerable land area has been taken over by"
industry and urbanization.
'During the past 20 years,much waste land and marginal land has been ieclaimed to
grow upland crops, specially in east Taiwan (almost 33,000 ha or 110% increase over
1952), contributing greatly to the increased production of sweet potatoes, corn, fruits
and vegetables in that area.
The total area in rice has slightly decreased along with the urbanization and in-
dustrial development. This is more significant in northern Taiwan.
There have not.been many changes in the total areas of common crops; however,
there have been many changes within individual crops, for instance, the area in wheat
increased from 14,000 ha in-the early 1950's to 25,000 ha in the early 1960's, and
then declined to 670 ha in 1972. Corn was at one time planted in upland fields during
spring, but, with the development of high-yielding hybrids and the use of interplanting
methods, the area gradually increased from 5,200 ha in 1951 to 11,000 ha in 1959, and
further increased to 20,000 ha in 1964 and 26,000 ha in 1972. The most important of
all the the common crops is the sweet potato crop, where the planted area has remained
around 210,000 to 235,000 ha during the past 20 years. This crop can be planted on a
variety of soils during any season of the year and requires very little management. It
is primarily used for feeding hogs which are a sideline enterprise of the average Tai-
Under "special crops", the area planted in annual crops is much greater than that
in perennial crops. Sugarcane and peanuts are the main crops, occupying more than
60% of the total planted area of the annual special crops, while tea is dominant among
the perennial special crops. There has been little change in the planted area of these
dominant crops. However, the area planted in some crops, such as citronella, jute
and rapeseed, has fluctuated very much during the past 20 years, while the area in
cassava has been on the increase because of the increasing demand for this crop.
The most significant change in the cropping system has been the rapid increase in
horticultural crops, i.e. fruits and vegetables, with the latter still showing increasing
trends. On the other hand, the area in green manure crops has considerably declined,
- 10 -
to less than 20% of the area in 1952.
The multiple cropping index (not including green manure) for Taiwan reached 1 .89-
1.90 in the years 1965-66, and has now gradually fallen to 1 .75 in 1972. This is due
partly to the decrease in the area of paddy fields and partly to the temporary shortage
of labor on farms.
Nevertheless, the labor-intensive multiple cropping system has been operating
under difficulties since the beginning of this decade, mainly because of the emigration
of farm labor from villages to factories in urban areas. Increasingly high rates of
wages have also created a problem. Wheat and soybeans have been particularly affect-
ed, because the cost of importing these crops is lower than domestic production costs.
In order to maintain a wider profit margin,many farmers have abandoned the production
of staple crops and grow vegetables as follow-up crops, or have simply let the land lie
fallow after the harvest of a rice crop. To cope with this situation, the research es-
tablishments have been trying hard to develop a less labor-intensive multiple cropping
system. For instance, land preparation for follow-up crops can be omitted or simpli-
fied; wheat can be broadcast instead of being sown in rows; the transplanting of rape
can be replaced by direct seeding; herbicides may be used on sweet potatoes, corn and
rape to reduce labor costs. Irrigation may be made applicable to winter follow-up
The development of special farm machinery for use on the follow-up crops is also
receiving attention. However, all these efforts have not as yet born appreciable fruits.
For the time being, the new agricultural policy promulgated by the Government in 1973
seems to be far more effective in helping to overcome the difficulties encountered in
multiple cropping. The zoning of crop production, guaranteed prices for staple food
crops and the improvement of the market system appear to be the most promising mea-
sures included in the new policy.
- 11 -
AGRICULTURAL GEOGRAPHY OF TAIWAN
Taiwan is an island situated about 160 km off the south-eastern coast of Mainland
China, lying between latitudes 21053'N and 25018'N. In shape it is like a spindle, be-
ing approximately 383 km long and 142 km at its greatest width. The total area is
35,759 km2, of which two-thirds are hilly to mountainous. The area of cultivated land
is about 900,000 hectares and the total rural population is approximately 6 million,
which means that each hectare of farmland is supporting 6.6 persons.
Although a proportion of the rural population tends to take up non-farming employ-
ment the number employed in agriculture is still gradually on the increase, and ac-
counts for 40% of the total work force of the island. The importance of agriculture to
the national economy is therefore quite evident.
a. Temperature: Taiwan has an oceanic subtropical climate. The summer is
long and hot, and the winter is short and mild. The monthly average temperatures dur-
ing the period from June to August range from 26.10C to 280C, the difference between
the north and the south being very small. In January and February, the coldest months
of the year, temperatures vary considerably from north to south; the average temper-
ature in Keelung (north) is about 150C while in Hengchun (south) it is about 200C. The
average monthly temperatures and maximum and minimum temperatures at different
places are shown in Tables 5 and 6. There is also a temperature change with eleva-
tion, with a decrease of 0.50C per 100 m. increase in elevation, as shown below: (Ta-
- 12 -
Table 4. The Effect of Variations in Altitude on Temperatures (oC/100m)
altitude Jan Feb Mar Apr May June
Anpu-(;hutzehu 236 0.72 0.68 0.55 O.60 0.64 0.51
(hutzehu-Taipei 592 0.63 0.44 0.51 0.61 0.51 0.63
Sun Moon Lake-Taichung 938 0.11 0.06 0.11 0.31 0.45 0.52
Yushan-Alishan 1414 0.44 0.52 0.57 0.57 0.48 0.52
Alishan-(hiayi 2400 0.47 0.46 0.46 0.53 0.58 0.57
Observation altitude July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Ave.
Anpu-Chutzehu 236 0.64 0.68 0.72 0.64 0.55 0.72 0.64
Chutzehu-Taipei 592 0.66 0.64 0.59 0.67 0.64 0.57 0.59
Sun Moon Lake-Taichung 938 0.57 0.54 0.46 0.32 0.21 0.16 0.32
Yushan-Alishan 1444 0.48 0.46 0.46 0.35 0.35 0.37 0.46
Alishan-Chiayi 2400 0.59 0.58 0.59 0.57 0.53 0.47 0.53
Altitude: Anpu 836 m
Chutzehu 600 m
Sun Moon Lake 1015m
Yushan 3850 m
Alishan 2406 m
- 13 -
Table 5. Average Monthly Temperatures (oC)
Station Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Annual Recorded
Chu-tze-hu 11.6 12.4 14.1 17.1 21.2 22.9 24.3 24.2 23.0 19.1 16.2 13.5 18.3 1947-1955
Keelung 15.6 15.3 16.8 20.2 23.7 26.5 28.2 28.0 26.6 23.5 20.4 17.3 21.8 1903-1955
Taipei 15.3 15.0 17.1 20.7 24.2 26.6 28.2 28.0 26.5 23.1 20.0 16.9 21.8 1897-1955
Hsinchu 15.1 15.0 17.1 20.5 24.5 26.7 28.1 28.0 26.8 23.5 20.5 16.9 21.9 1938-1955
Ilan 16.0 16.4 18.2 20.8 23.9 26.1 27.8 27.4 26.0 22.7 20.1 17.4 21.9 1936-1955
Taichung 15.8 15.9 18.4 22.0 25.4 26.9 27.8 27.6 26.7 23.5 20.7 17.4 22.4 1897-1955
Hualien 17.4 17.6 19.2 21.7 24.3 26.3 27.4 27.2 26.1 23.6 21.3 18.8 22.6 1911-1955
Sun Moon Lake 14.7 15.3 17.3 19.1 21.2 22.0 22.5 22.5 22.4 20.6 18.7 -15.9 19.4 1942-1955
Tainan 17.1 17.3 20.0 23.4 26.4 27.4 27.9 27.6 27.3 25.0 21.8 18.6 23.3 1897-1955
Taitung 19.0 19.2 20.9 23.2 25.4 27.0 27.6 27.4 26.6 24.5 22.3 20.0 23.6 1901-1955
Kaohsiung 18.9 19.4 21.8 24.5 27.2 27.8 28.0 27.8 27.6 25.8 23.3 20.2 24.4 1932-1955
Hengchun 20.4 20.7 22.4 24.6 26.7 27.4 27.6 27.3 26.9 25.4 23.5 21.4 24.5 1897-1955
Table 6. Average Monthly Maximum and Minimum Temperatures (OC)
Station Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Annual Recorded
Max 15.4 15.9 18.0 21.0 25.6 26.7 29.0 28.9 27.2 22.3 19.2 16.4 22.1 1947-1954
Min 9.1 9.5 10.8 14.2 18.1 20.4 21.5 21.5 20.4 17.3 14.4 11.2 15.7 1947-1954
Max 18.2 18.1 19.8 23.5 27.2 30.4 32.2 32.1 30.2 26.2 22.9 19.9 25.1 1903-1955
Keelung 13.0 12.9 14.1 17.3 20.7 23.4 24.9 24.8 23.8 21.1 17.9 15.0 19.1 1903-1955
Tai Max 19.1 18.8 21.2 25.0 28.9 31.4 33.3 33.1 31.2 27.4 24.0 20.7 26.2 1897-1955
pe in 12.3 12.2 14.0 17.3 20.7 23.0 24.3 24.3 22.9 20.0 17.1 14.0 18.5 1897-1955
Max 18.8 18.6 20.8 24.3 28.5 30.5 32.3 32.5 31.3 27.6 24.4 20.6 25.8 1938-1955
sincu Min 12.0 12.1 14.1 17.4 21.2 23.7 24.8 24.6 23.4 20.4 17.5 13.7 18.8 1938-1955
I Max 19.5 19.6 21.6 24.4 27.5 29.9 31.6 31.3 29.7 26.1 23.4 20.4 25.4 1936-1955
Min 13.1 13.1 15.0 17.6 20.7 23.1 24.4 24.1 22.9 20.0 17.5 14.7 18.9 1936-1954
Max 21.9 21.5 23.8 27.1 30.2 31.6 32.6 32.3 31.9 29.8 26.8 23.4 27.7 1897-1955
Taichung 120 14.6 18.3 21.7 23.3 24.1 24.0 22.9 19.8 16.5 13.2 18.5 1897-1955
Max 21.2 21.4 23.0 25.6 28.2 30.1 31.5 31.5 30.5 27.9 25.4 22.6 26.6 1911-1954
Hualien in 14.4 14.6 16.1 18.6 21.2 23.0 23.7 23.6 22.7 20.5 18.2 15.9 19.4 1911-1954
Sun Moon Max 20.6 21.2 22.9 24.5 26.8 27.0 28.1 28.0 28.1 26.2 24.5 21.2 24.9 1942-1954
Lake Min 11.0 11.6 14.0. 15.7 17.9 19.1 19.3 19.3 19.1 17.4 15.1 12.4 16.0 1942-1954
S Max 24.0 24.2 26.5 29.2 31.5 31.8 32.4 32.1 32.4 31.0 28.3 25.1 29.1 1897-1955
Min 12.7 12.7 15.3 19.0 22.4 24.0 24.4 24.3 23.5 20.6 17.3 14.2 19.2 1897-1955
Max 23.3 23.5 26.1 27.4 29.6 31.1 31.7 31.5 30.8 28.7 26.4 24.1 27.8 1901-1955
Taitung 15.6 15.7 17.4 19.7 22.0 23.4 24.0 23.8 23.2 21.3 19.1 16.8 20.2 1901-1955
Max 23.9 24.6 26.5 29.2 31.6 31.6 31.8 31.7 31.9 30.7 28.2 25.0 28.9 1932-1955
gMin 15.0 15.5 18.0 20.8 23.9 24.8 25.0 24.8 24.5 22.4 19.5 16.5 20.9 1932-1955
Max 24.2 24.9 26.8 29.1 30.9 31.0 31.1 30.8 30.7 29.0 26.8 24.7 28.3 1897-1955
Min 17.6 17.6 19.3 21.5 23.5 24.7 24.8 24.6 24.0 22.9 21.1 18.9 21.7 1897-1955
.........~....... - ......a.....aI ......i ......J
2/ _/ ,\. ,WMA
20 ----- --/-"-:-47'---'--'-------A w
16 ,'/ ( WT
.1 NbO MAR APR MAY .4A MY AlM SAIr OC AM WC
Figure 4- 1. Temperatures in Different Regions in Taiwan
--------- ---AMOWSi/U (SourTH
-----------TAICHUOM iCINTRAL )
AU JsPF OCr NOV Me
Figure 4-2. Rainfall Distribution in Different Regions in Taiwan
- 16 -
RAINFALL IN JANUARY
TAINAN -- -
: ~---"---~t- --
Source: Atlas of Agricultural Land Use in Taiwan,
published by Provincial Dept. of Agriculture
and Forestry, Oct. 1970
- 17 -
RAINFALL IN JULY
Source: Atlas of Agricultural Land Use in Taiwan,
published by Provincial Dept. of Agriculture
and Forestry, Oct. 1970
- 18 -
From the above tables we can see that temperatures in the plains areas are very
suitable for growing a variety of crops throughout the year. Killing frosts rarely oc-
cur in Taiwan and have been recorded only 2-3 times in 10 years and then only in a few
b. Rainfall: The rainfall in Taiwan is abundant, varying from 1700 to 2000 mm
a year, with the heaviest precipitation in the mountains. The distribution pattern
varies from district to district, being influenced by the monsoon winds and the altitude
of the area and its adjacent mountains.
Most of the rainfall comes in summer (June to August) as thunderstorms of high in-
tensity, except in the northern part of the island, where it is more evenly distributed,
with a precipitation of a little over 100 mm each month of the year. There are distinct
wet and dry seasons in the central and southern parts of Taiwan. (Figure 5)
The average evaporation rate is around 1500 mm each year; this varies a great
deal from month to month, depending on temperatures and sunshine hours. Table 7
shows the monthly distribution of rainfall and evaporation at various stations. It can
be seen that during the winter season in the central and southern parts of Taiwan, the
evaporation rates are higher than the rainfall so that supplementary irrigation is need-
ed in these areas for growing short-season crops.
The relative humidity in Taiwan averages between 75% and 80%, varying very little
during the year. In northern Taiwan, the relative humidity is somewhat greater in
winter than in summer but the converse is found in southern Taiwan.
c. Sunshine hours: The length of sunshine is another factor affecting the mul-
tiple cropping system. As seen in Table 8, sunshine hours in northern Taiwan are
much fewer than in central and southern districts, especially during the winter season.
a. Taiwan soils vary considerably, because of different patterns of climate,
relief and parent materials. On the basis of altitude, four major soil zones can be re-
cognized. They are Mountain stony soils, Red-Yellow Podzolic soils, Latosolic soils,
and Alluvial soils. The former two are found in areas of high mountains and hilly re-
gions and are not suitable for intensive agriculture. Latosols and alluvials of differ-
ent parent materials are the main agricultural soils in Taiwan.
b. Medium coarse (sandy loam) and medium (loam, silt and silt loam) textured
soils constitute 80% of the total agricultural land. With a few local exceptions, soils
in Taiwan in general do not pose many problems of poor drainage nor difficulty of till-
c. The soil reaction is greatly influenced by the degree of weathering and the
- 19 -
Table 7. Monthly Distribution of Precipitation and Evaporation
No. of months Ave. rainy Rainfall
Station) Total Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jude July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Under Over days in a classifi-
(mm) "Dry" "Wet" year cation2)
Keelun P 3038 306 293 298 217 261 287 137 167 250 247 269 306 0 10 214.6 Ia
SE 1423 67 61 80 96 116 143 204 198 160 127 97 74
T P 2109 90 142 170 169 218 306 247 281 223 121 69 73
pe E 1312 60 58 80 98 126 141 175 174 146 111 80 63 5 185.1
P 1845 66 162 193 198 282 368 173 221 91 23 25 43
Hsinchu E 1389 69 61 74 96 124 145 165 172 155 147 102 79 3 141.5 II
(3) P 2519 153 142 129 101 215 239 125 227 340 294 338 216
E 1163 54 54 77 92 107 130 179 159 122 84 57 48 0 7 221la
Lishan 4 P 1971 84 69 87 72 170 503 254 335 228 70 72 27
shan E(NDA) -7 4 NDA II
P 1782 33 68 114 130 228 371 295 338 139 22 16 28
Taicung E 1538 94 88 102 120 143 148 167 156 153 152 118 97 5 4 126.2 III
Hualie(3) P2002 61 91 117 114 211 183 295 235 274 238 114 69 5 17
ualen E 1354 71 63 84 99 117 135 178 168 142 125 91 81 3 5 1
Sun Moon P 2242 49 65 89 101 277 450 343 438 320 52 28 30
Lake14 E 1098 81 75 93 94 103 95 108 102 86 91 87 83 149.5 III
Makung P 1039 23 38 71 84 112 163 190 183 99 30 23 23
(Penghu) E 1630 97 86 104 127 150 152 168 162 163 175 137 109 8 0 96.5 V
nan 1839 19 33 47 70 185 390 438 422 164 35 17 19
an E 1586 97 101 132 150 167 146 154 144 148 142 111 9 7 109.6 IV
(3)P 1815 36 46 66 71 173 201 353 305 292 175 61 36
Taitung E 1731 118 112 127 137 150 167 183 173 157 157 132 118 6 4 153.1 II
P 2513 15 21 43 79 194 500 654 592 303 74 21 17
Hengchun E2026 154 150 190 199 199 159 160 148 154 183 171 1594 5 I
Note: (1) Arranged in order of decreasing latitude.
(2) la continuously wet; Ib continuously moist; II moderately dry period; III dry season; IV with a
very dry season; V with long drought.
(3) Stations located on east coast.
(4) Stations located in the mountains of central Taiwan, at an elevation of 2,000m and 1 ,000m above sea level re-
(underlined) months in which evaporation exceeds precipitation.
Table 8. Length of Sunshine by Month
Station Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Annual Recorded
Keelung 43.5 48.0 62.9 81.2 100.3 133.2 209.1 206.2 158.4 90.5 61.2 46.8 1,241.3 1917-1955
Taipei 87.9 77.5 90.5 110.1 140.0 160.2 223.2 222.1 191.8 141.6 106.6 91.7 1,643.2 1898-1955
Hsinchu 112.6 94.2 95.3 116.6 165.1 175.8 236.7 244.1 219.9 211.0 150.9 126.4 1,948.6 1938-1955
Ilan 72.0 65.0 78.9 91.1 113.9 141.4 223.8 217.3 163.4 91.1 65.6 55.3 1,378.8 1936-1954
Taichung 186.4 157.5 164.1 171.7 203.3 204.1 245.2 233.0 245.0 247.7 209.7 194.6 2,462.2 1898-1955
Hualien 76.9 70.8 83.4 103.6 137.7 186.6 251.7 237.6 188.4 132.0 101.1 80.2 1,650.0 1911-1954
Sun Moon Lake 177.4 152.9 138.7 121.7 152.1 123.8 155.0 159.7 .168.2 168.9 179.7 160.5 1,858.6 1942-1954
Alishan 170.4 143.8 143.1 129.8 134.1 113.0 128.6 117.9 127.1 158.2 176.4 171.8 1,714.2 1934-1954
Tainan 198.7 184.6 203.4 209.6 235.9 221.9 239.6 223.4 241.8 248.5 212.2 198.3 2,617.9 1898-1955
Taitung 109.0 99.0 104.7 126.6 160.3 209.5 244.0 224.3 193.1 165.5 133.0 112.5 1,881.5 1901-1955
Kaohsiung 189.7 185.2 198.1 199.9 230.0 183.4 199.5 190.8 224.8 236.5 199.1 179.6 2,416.6 1932-1954
Hengchun 180.2 177.0 204.6 209.4 226.1 208.6 225.0 199.4 205.6 212.9 187.4 168.8 2,405.0 1898-1954
nature of the parent materials. The latosols are strongly acidic, while the pH of the
alluvials is determined by the base status of the parent materials. 41% of agricultural
soils have pH values ranging from 5.6 to 7.3, and are quite suitable for growing most
sub-tropical crops. Liming has been proved beneficial on latosolic soils, particularly
for vegetables and legumes.
d. The organic matter content of Taiwan soils is mainly affected by variations
of temperatures and rainfall. The organic matter content of soils near Taipei, there-
fore, is usually high (over 3%) and amounts decrease gradually as we go southward, to
less than 1 .5% in the coastal plain of Tainan. Similarly, the organic matter content of
soils increases from the plains to the mountains.
e. Soil analyses show that 30% of all agricultural lands have soil test values
of 4 to 10 ppm and 32% have values of 10 to 20 ppm of available P (Bray's No. 1). By
Mehlich's test 37% are in the range of 15 to 35 ppm K, and 43% between 35 and 80 ppm
The latosols are relatively low in phosphorus and potassium and yield responses
in rice crops to added P and K fertilizer may be up to 10%. However, the average
yield responses of rice to added P and K on soils other than latosols range only from
2 to 6%.
Water is indispensable for crop growth. In view of the fact that the rainfall dis-
tribution does not always coincide with crop requirements, Taiwan farmers are partic-
ularly interested in irrigation. Although Taiwan has 19 main rivers and many small
streams, all of these are short and rapid-flowing during the rainy season. (Only six
rivers exceed 100 km.) Therefore, many dikes and reservoirs have had to be con-
structed for irrigation purposes.
In Taiwan, the intensity of multiple cropping is closely related to the provision of
irrigation facilities. The most extensively developed area is the central part (Tai-
chung area); the next is the Pingtung area, where underground water has been effec-
- 22 -
LEADING MULTIPLE CROPPING SYSTEMS IN TAIWAN
The following are the most popular multi-cropping patterns practised by farmers
on double-cropped paddy fields.
1. Rice-rice-sweet potatoes: The rice crop preceding the sweet potato crop is
transplanted at a 25 cm x 25 cm spacing, with a double width space left between every
four or five rows of rice. A small ridge (6-10 cm high, 10-15 cm wide) is then made in
these open rows after the final weeding of the rice field, after the field has been drain-
ed. Sweet potatoes are planted horizontally on the ridges (about 50.,000 cuttings per
ha) and compost or some type of N-fertilizer is applied 10 days and 25 days after-
wards. The balance of the chemical fertilizer is applied immediately after the .rice
harvest to both sides of the rows of sweet potatoes, which are then ridged. A final
ridging is done one month later.
During the early growth stages of the potatoes, care should be taken not to flood
the field over the ridges. At the yellow-ripening state of the rice, the rice plants
should be spread slightly so that sunlight can reach the sweet potato seedlings.
2. Rice-rice-soybeans: Soybean seeds are sown close to the rice stubble with a
small spade soon after the harvest of the second rice crop. One row is left open at 10
row intervals in order to facilitate field management. Chemical fertilizers are applied
one week after the emergence of the seedlings.
3. Rice-rice-corn: About two weeks before the rice harvest, corn seed is drill-
ed at a spacing of 20-30 cm between every two rows of rice and covered with compost
or soil. Fertilizers are applied in two or three side dressings after the rice harvest.
In the southern part of Taiwan, corn is planted in mid-September and harvested in late
December, while in central Taiwan, corn is planted in mid-October and harvested in
4. Rice-rice-tobacco: In central Taiwan, 40-50 days-old tobacco seedlings are
transplanted into the paddy fields about two weeks prior to the harvest of the second
rice crop. They are relay-planted after every fourth row of rice, at a spacing of 50
cm apart. In southern Taiwan, tobacco seedlings can be transplanted on ridges after
normal land preparation.
5. Rice-rice-vegetables: This is the most popular system practised by Taiwan
- 23 -
farmers. There is sufficient time in the winter season to grow one o- even two crops
of short-season vegetables.
6. Rice-vegetables-rice-with two vegetable crops: Under this cropping pattern,
the land is utilized to its maximum capacity. Early-maturing rice varieties, with a
growth period 15-20 days less than that of conventional varieties, are used for both
rice crops. Seedlings of muskmelons,pickling melons or watermelons are interplanted
with the first rice crop about 15-25 days before the rice is harvested. The melons rip-
en within 60-70 days after planting and thus ensure that the land is available for the
second rice crop. Fifteen to 20 days before the second rice crop is harvested, Irish
potatoes, Chinese cabbages, Chinese mustard or green corn are relay-interplanted in-
to the paddy field. After the harvest of these crops, other vegetables can follow until
the following February. This diversified cropping system is practised in central dis-
tricts where the environmental conditions are more favorable than those in other parts
7. Aside from the above six cropping systems, there are still others built around
the production of two rice crops, such as rice-jute-rice-vegetables or other dryland
crops; rice-rice-flax; rice-rice-rapeseed; rice-rice-wheat; and rice-sugarcane-rice.
Farmers are free to choose any pattern which is adapted to the climatic and soil con-
ditions in a particular region. (Figures 6 and 7)
- 24 -
MULTIPLE CROPPING PATTERNS ON PADY FIELDS, CENTRAL TAIWAN
F iHAR iAPR AY ,JNE JLY i AUG SEP i OCT i NO VDEC JAN FB F
MULTIPLE CROPPIN/6 S r O PADDY FIELDS, SOUTHERN TAIWAN
I i i i .A i O E, i
JM jFEB INR IAPR 'HAY hW JYEJULY4 AG SEDTI OCT O AWDEC JA/ FEP
Figure 6. Most Popular Cropping Systems
- 25 -
MULTIPLE CROPPING SYSTEM OF PADDY FIELDS IN TAIWAN, CHINA
THE FIRST RICE CROP THE SECOND RICE CROP
JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
mCr DO I JCMa.
RICE-RICE-(SWEET POTATOES, IRISH POTATOES)
A. Sweet potatoes:
1st Crop Season: 70-day early
2nd Crop Season: Niao-Shih-Chung
2. Soil: Preferably sandy loam.
3. Arrangement of planting rows: Within three days after transplanting the rice
seedings in the normal way, remove every fourth row of rice and transplant these
plants between the rice plants in the rows on either side.
4. Preparation of planting ridge: After the last weeding operation (30 days after
transplanting of 1st crop of rice, or 20 days in the case of the 2nd crop), make a ridge
6 cm in height and 10 cm in width in the rows which have been reserved for planting
5. Time of planting: Plant the sweet potato cuttings 40-50 days before the rice
6. Method of planting: Plant shallow and horizontally on the moist ridge, at a
spacing of 25 cm.
7. Fertilizer rates:
N: 40-80 kg/ha P205: 54 kg/ha K20: 70 kg/ha
Sweet potato cuttings planted on soil mound between rice rows
8. Time of fertilizer application: 20% and 40% of total fertilizers are applied 10
days and 25 days after planting respectively. After the rice harvest, apply the re-
maining 40% along both sides of each row, and then cover with soil.
9. Field management: During the early stages of growth, keep the field moist, ir-
rigating if necessary. During the later stages, keep the field dry. Lift the vines from
the soil in order to prevent undesirable root development from the nodes.
10. Harvest: Harvest the potatoes any time after the roots are fully developed.
It takes about 90 days for the 1st crop season (summer), and 160 days for the second
crop season (winter).
B. Irish potatoes:
1. Temperature: 150C 180C
2. Soils: Sandy loam to loam, PH 5.0 6.0 (PH higher than 6.0 induces po-
3. Variety: Nunglin 1, Kennebec.
4. Growing period:
Area Crop Planting Harvest
Plains areas Spring Jan Feb May
Fall September December
Relay-planted October Dec Jan
Winter November February
Hilly areas Spring March June
Summer May August
Fall September December
5. Pre-planting treatments:
a. Methods used for breaking tuber dormancy:
(1) Fumigation with ethyl dichloride use 0.5 -2.0 c.c. solution for 1000
cm3 space. Keep the room closed for 1 5 days.
(2) Exposure to sunlight place the seed potatoes in sunlight for 20 30
days to form buds 1 1.5 cm long; or
(3) Soaking in ammonium thiocyanate solution soak the sliced potatoes
in 1 :120 solution of ammonium thiocyanate (NH4SCN) for one hour (10 kg solution will
treat 15 kg of potatoes).
(4) Then place on moist sand bed (moisture content 50 60%); sprouting
will be completed in 10 14 days.
b. Selection of seed potatoes:
(1) Free from virus, ring-rot disease, etc.
(2) Should have completed dormancy period and be starting to sprout; dis-
- 28 -
card old shrunken tubers.
(3) Reject tubers which are rough, blemished, spotted or scarred; those
which have discolored areas around the bud or which are very soft should also be dis-
(4) Seed potatoes should be disinfected when harvested. The following
are common practices for disinfection:
(a) Soak in mercurochrome (1 : 1000) solution for 20 minutes.
(b) Soak in granosan (1 : 1000) solution for 1 hour.
(c) Soak in formalin (1 : 100) solution for 90 minutes.
(d) Soak in uspulum (1 : 800) solution for 30 minutes.
c. Cutting of seed potatoes: Cut seed potatoes vertically 5 7 days before
planting. Each slice should have 2 or 3 eyes, and should weigh about 25 30 grams.
Keep them air dry in a cool place.
6. Land preparation and planting:
a. Upland planting: Use animal or power tiller to plow the field 15 18 cm
deep. Break up the clods and make ridges 90 cm in width, 15 cm in height with furrows
30 cm wide. Apply compost and chemical fertilizers in the planting rows (2 rows, 12
cm deep, 60 cm apart on each ridge) and cover with 6 cm soil. Then plant the seed
potatoes with buds facing upwards, 20 30 cm apart in the rows.
Potato tubers placed between rice plants; right side being covered with soil
- 29 -
b. Relay-planting: Starting from the edge of the rice field, make small soil
heaps between 2nd and 3rd, 4th and 5th, 7th and 8th, 9th and 10th etc., rows of rice,
15 days before the rice is harvested. Use bamboo sticks to press to one side the rice
plants on both sides of the planting rows; plant the potatoes in the rows and cover with
soil taken from rows between the 3rd and 4th, 8th and 9th rows, etc.
c. Planting after rice harvest: As for relay-planting, except that planting is
done after the rice harvest.
7. Fertilizer rates and application (kg/ha)
N P205 K20 Compost
Basal 75 100 360 15,000
Topdressing (30 days after planting) 75 0 0 0
8. Weeding and cultivation: Every 10 20 days, ceasing just before flower initi-
9. Thinning: Keep only 2 stems from each hill when the young shoots reach 10
cm in height.
10. Earthing: When the main stem reaches 18 cm in height, earthing is practised,
hills being molded to a height of 6 cm.
11. Irrigation: Once every 5 7 days. Cease irrigation 10 days before harvest.
12. Harvest: When the leaves and stems turn yellow; for seed purposes, harvest
a little bit earlier.
13. Storage: Take away pest-injured tubers. Keep potatoes in a dark, cool place
(0.5 3.0C), humidity 90%. Do not pile too high.
Soybeans are one of the important upland crops in Taiwan.
The acreage planted in soybeans in the Kaoping area (southern Taiwan) averages
about 30,000 hectares each year, representing 70% of the total soybean production in
Taiwan. Therefore, the Kaohsiung District Agricultural Improvement Station has
placed special emphasis on experiments relating to the growing of this crop, including
variety trials and improvement of cultural practices. The following are some of the ex-
perimental results with soybeans which are being advocated to farmers.
- 30 -
1. Methods of sowing soybeans:
a. Experiment site: Station field
b. Soil texture: Silt loam
c. Variety: Ah-chia-tou
d. Experiment data:
Treatment Growth Plant No. of Yield Order
Year Se g period height tillers per ha Index of
Land Seedg (days) (cm) (kg) yield
No tillage broadcast 93 25.57 2.7 765 100 5
With tillage broadcast 91 40.54 2.7 1,383 180.4 4
With tillage banded 91 39.54 2.6 1,550 202.6 3
1961 No tillage drilled 91 43.09 2.4 1,780 232.7 2
No tillage rice 91 47.80 2.0 1,835 239.8 1
No tillage broadcast 104 34.10 2.5 735 100 5
With tillage broadcast 102 32.80 3.4 1,242 169.1 4
With tillage banded 102 35.00 3.6 1,449 197.3 3
No tillage drilled 102 38.80 3.3 1,707 232.3 2
No tillage rice 102 41.50 3.4 1,841 250.6 1
Low germination due to poor drainage
e. Findings: Most farmers drill the seed without prior tillage as this re-
quires less labor.
2. Time of sowing soybeans:
a. Experimental results:
b. Findings: The decrease in yield from later sowings might be due to the
gradual decline in temperatures during the growth period.
3. Spacing of soybean seeds.
a. The experiments were carried out under the non-tillage system. The ex-
perimental results from 4 places in the years 1966 and 1967 are as follows:
Treatment Changchi Neipu Station Changchi
Yield Yield Yield Yield
kg/ha Index kg/ha Index kgha Index kg/ha Index
kg/ha kg/ha kg/ha kg/ha
22.5 cm x 22.5 cm 2762 100 1692 100 1404 100 2004 100
45cm x 11.25 cm 2716 98.3 1783 105.4 1412 100.6 1823 91.0
27cm x 13.5 cm 2902 105.1 1734 103.0 1475 104.7 2202 109.9
40.5 cm x 9 cm 2719 98.5 1679 99.3 1394 98.9 1992 99.4
40.5 cm x 13.5 cm 2658 96.2 1606 94.9 1412 100.6 1995 99.6
b. Findings: The spacing of 27 cm x 13.5 cm was found to be the best, fol-
lowed by 22.5 cm x 22.5 cm. The seeding rate experiments also revealed that 2 3
seeds per hill are adequate for tall varieties, while 3 4 seeds are best for dwarf
4. Mulching of soybeans:
a. The results of experiments conducted in 4 places are shown below:
1964 fall 1965 fall
Treatment Likang Fengshan Kanting Taliao
Yield Yield Yield Yield
kg/ha Index kg/ha dex kg/ha index kg/ha Index
Straw mulching 2715 116.2 1519 120.5 1860 118.5 1270 122.7
Straw burned 2563 109.7 1395 110.6 1812 115.4 1101 106.4
Control 2335 100 1261 100 1568 100 1035 100
b. Findings: The advantages of straw mulching on soybean fields are (1) to
suppress the growth of weeds; (2) to reduce evaporation and keep the soil moist;and(3)
to supplement plant nutrients when the straw decays.
5. Soybean varieties:
a. Hokehtao (Wakajima) stable yield, large grain, 1000-grain weight over
,200 grams; planting acreage over 6000 hectares.
b. Shihshih (Jikkoku) early maturing, suitable for dense-planting, stable
yield, 1000-grain weight around 170 grams; planting acreage over 10,000 hectares.
- 32 -
Seed good for processing and also for vegetable use.
c. Kaohsiung 3 new variety, strong stem, resistant to lodging and rust,
short internodes, more tillering, large grain, 1000-grain weight over 200 grams.
The agronomic characteristics of the above-mentioned varieties are as follows:
(Data from 1969 regional trials)
Growth Plant Seed Yi
No. of Yield
Variety period height tillers yield index
tillers yield. index
days cm kg/ha
Hokehtao 91 42.1 2.6 2061 100
Shihshih 83 36.1 2.6 1785 87
Kaohsiung 3 91 34.2 2.7 2416 117
6. Fertilizer experiments on soybeans.
a. Fertilizer requirements and economic returns (Average of 2 experiments
Treatment Seed Gross Fertilizer Gross income Net returns
N-P2QS-K20 yield income cost minus from
(kg/ha) (kg/ha) (NT$/ha) (NTS/ha) (NTS/ha) fertilizer
0-0-0 1,649 9,894 0 9,894
0-100-80 1,810 10,860 1,318 9,542 352
20-100-40 2,160 12,960 1,379 11,581 +1,687
40-0-80 1,953 11,718 869 10,849 +- 955
40-50-80 2,061 12,366 1,341 11,025 +1,131
40-100-80 2,276 13,656 1,813 11,843 +1,949
40-100-0 2,133 12,798 1,440 11,358 +1,464
Note: Price of soybeans:
Muriate of potash:
b. Fertilizer placement and timing: The results of experiments conducted by
the Station revealed that fertilizer should be split in two applications, i.e. broadcast
the whole amount of PK fertilizers and half the amount of N fertilizer immediately af-
ter sowing, and then mulch with straw; broadcast the other half of N fertilizer 7 10
days after emergence.
- 33 -
Manual seed planter for soybeans and Azuki beans
1. Planting season of corn: Corn can be planted in Taiwan at any time of the year.
In 1972, the total planted area was 25,753 ha, of which 6,906 ha were planted in
spring, 6,939 ha in autumn and 11,908 ha as a winter crop following the rice crop.
The planting of the winter crop is usually done two weeks before the harvest of the
standing rice crop, and is more commonly practised in the central part of Taiwan.
2. Under the rice-rice-corn system the varieties and planting dates of rice are
For Central Taiwan: Taichung 186 before July 25
For Chia-nan area: Chia-nan 8, Tainan 1 or 5 before July 20
For Kaoping area: Kaohsiung 64, 122 or 136 before June 20
For Taitung area: Taitung 25, Chianan 8 before July 10
3. Variety of corn: Tainan 5 (hybrid)
4. Method of planting: Two kernels of corn are drilled 20 30 cm apart between
- 34 -
every two rows of rice, or every two and three rows alternately as shown below:
x x x x x x x x
o -- 50 cm -- o -- 75 cm- o
x i xx x
x x x
x x x x x x x x x
x x .x 0 x
The depth of planting is about 3-4 cm and the seeds are covered with compost.
5. Fertilizer application (kg/ha)
Rate of Application
Type of Fertilizer
1st 2nd 3rd
Ammonium sulfate 200 200-250 200-250
Normal superphosphate 350
Muriate of potash 100
Time of Application
1st Directly after rice harvest
2nd 2 weeks after 1 st application
3rd 2 weeks after 2nd application
6. Field Management: Thinning is done when the plant is 15 20 cm high.
ovation and ridging are recommended after each fertilizer application. However,
practices can be reduced to one if lodging and weeds are not serious problems.
gate 2-3 times if necessary, 30 days after planting, tasselling and silking.
7. Harvest: Harvest the cobs by hand when the color of the outer sheaths turns
whitish and dry. The grain is hard and no milk will come out when the grains are
pressed with the finger nail. Dry in the sun for 5-7 days, after which the cobs are
de-husked by a threshing machine.
- 35 -
There are two methods of growing flue-cured tobacco in Taiwan; one is relay-
planting with rice and the other is after the harvest of the rice crop. The former
method is more generally practised. Under this method, tobacco seedlings are inter-
planted in the paddy field two weeks before the rice harvest.
1. Preparation: At the time of rice transplanting, the tobacco farmer decides the
field in which he will plant tobacco and calculates the number of days required by the
rice and tobacco seedlings in the nursery bed, so that the seedlings can be trans-
planted to the-paddy field at proper time. The rice is transplanted in straight rows at
equal spacings. Two weeks before the rice harvest, the farmer uses his hands or a
bamboo stick to press gently the rice plants towards both sides to make the row suffi-
ciently open to allow him to walk in the field. The operation is repeated every 4 rows
(a distance of about 1 meter). A shallow hole of about 15 cm in diameter is made be-
tween every two hills of rice, 1/5 1/3 of the required amount of fertilizer is applied
and compost and soil are used to make a small pile, on the top of which a seedling is
planted. Finally, a shallow ditch is dug in the open rows to facilitate drainage.
2. Planting: The time of harvesting is directly related to the time of planting. In
order to avoid the summer rainy season and in consideration of the intensive land use,
the planting season for tobacco varies according to the particular area:
Taichung and Hualien areas late Sept early Oct
Chiayi and Pingtung areas early Oct mid Oct
The most important factor in tobacco growing is the planting of healthy seed-
lings. Seedlings should be neither too vigorous nor too weak. The optimum age of
seedlings for planting is when they reach the 10-leaf stage (35-42 days after seeding).
The seedling bed should be thoroughly irrigated before the seedlings are removed,
while care should be taken not to damage the seedlings and to keep the soil attached to
their roots. The seedlings should be planted into the field as soon as they are pulled
out and they should not be placed under the direct sun. Plant them erect and shallow,
taking care that the roots have no direct contact with chemical fertilizers. The field
should be checked 4-5 days later, when any seedlings found to be in poor condition or
damaged by diseases and/or pests should be replaced.
3. Cultivation and ridging: Immediately after the rice harvest, sidedress the bal-
ance of the fertilizers along the rows and make the ridges 3-6 cm higher, using a gar-
den tractor. The final ridging is done two weeks later, the ridges being made about 30
- 36 -
4. Fertilizer application (kg/ha):
Rate N P205 K20 Compost
For coarse textured soils 60-80 60-90 180 12,000
For medium textured soils 50 50 150 8,000
For fine textured soils 90 100 180 8,000-10,000
Time of application
For coarse textured soils 1/5 1/4 of chemical fertilizers as a basal dres-
sing; the remaining to be banded on both sides of
the row after the rice harvest.
For medium and fine textured 1/3 applied as basal dressing and 2/3 as a side-
soils dressing in bands.
5. Irrigation: Irrigate the field after each ridging, and at other times when nec-
essary. Do not irrigate too much, particularly at the later stages of growth.
6. Topping: Topping is carried out when the tobacco plant starts to bloom, about
45 days after transplanting. Early and deep topping is recommended if the growth of
the plants is poor; on the other hand, late and light topping is advised for vigorous
growth. Remove slips every 3-5 days, unless the topping has been too deep and the
leaves have become too thick.
7. Harvest: Tobacco leaves start to ripen on the lower part of the plant about 70
days after transplanting. The characteristics of ripening are as follows:
a. The ripened leaf is yellowish green, while the central vein and the back of
the leaf are yellowish white. The central and upper portions of the leaf are more
swollen than the veins.
b. The leaf surface is rough to the touch; the leaf hairs readily fall off. The
tissues are brittle and easily broken. The leaves rustle when picked. The stem of the
plant is hard.
c. The leaf tip tends to droop and the angle of the leaf to the stem becomes
After harvesting the ripened leaves at the lower portion of the plant, harvest
two leaves every 6-7 days thereafter, keeping at least 3 4 leaves on the plant to
ripen for the final harvesting.
Harvesting is done in the morning just after the dew dries out. Do not damage
- 37 -
the leaves during transportation and do not expose them to strong sunlight, in order to
avoid excessive evaporation.
A variety of vegetables may be grown during the period between the harvesting of
the second rice crop (Oct Nov) to the planting of the first rice crop (Feb Mar).
These vegetables can be planted either after the rice harvest or two weeks before this
harvest. The gro"-th of vegetables may be adversely affected by shading if they are
planted too soon before the rice harvest.
Vegetables which are commonly planted after the rice harvest are:
Irish potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbages, Chinese cabbages, mustard, Chi-
nese kale, spinach, radishes, lettuces, asparagus lettuces, tomatoes, cauliflowers,
cucumbers, snap beans, green peas, soybeans, broad beans, Lima beans, kohlrabi,
celery, edible rape, garland chrysanthemums, Chinese onions, coriander, squash, wax
gourds, bitter gourds, eggplants, sweet peppers, garlic, etc.
Vegetables which can be planted two weeks before the rice harvest, without prior
land preparation, are:
Chinese cabbages, cabbages, kohlrabi, mustard, Irish potatoes, tomatoes,
cauliflowers, sugar peas, etc.
The planting distance depends on the characteristics of the vegetable crop and can
be incorporated into the planting distances of rice as follows:
a. One row of rice and one row of vegetables: soybeans, carrots.
b. Two rows of rice and one row of vegetables: soybeans, radishes.
c. Three to four rows of rice and one row of vegetables: green peas.
d. Five rows of rice and two rows of vegetables: cauliflowers, cabbages,
Chinese cabbages, kohlrabi, tomatoes, potatoes, broad beans, etc. (see figure below).
t11 It II I t t t It I t It It It I t
II It II I IIt II It II II II It It II
It t it ti t tt I i It I t It It tII I
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
Square planting for kohlrabi, tomatoes, potatoes, broad beans, cucumbers,
- 38 -
It tI II It It I1 II it II II if 1I It
II t I 1I I I I If I t it It It i I II
II Itt II It H H II It H II II tI
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
Triangle-planting for Chinese cabbages, cabbages, kohlrabi, leaf-beet,
mustard, cauliflowers, broccoli, etc.
e. 8 10 rows of rice for one row of vegetables: Oriental pickling melons,
pumpkins, wax gourds, etc.
Some vegetables are suitable for direct sowing, some for transplanting and some
for both. In Taiwan, the following vegetables are direct-seeded: soybeans, carrots,
Chinese radishes, Chinese yellow-golden cabbages, Irish potatoes, spinach, water
convolvulus, edible amaranth, snap beans, mung beans, green peas, oriental pickling
melons, etc. The following can be direct-seeded or raised in a nursery bed: cucum-
bers, melons, watermelons, sponge melons, etc. Vegetables of solanaceae family
such as tomatoes, eggplants and sweet peppers are normally raised in a nursery bed.
RICE-VEGETABLES-RICE-WITH TWO VEGETABLE CROPS
This is the most intensive method of land use. Because of the short interval be-
tween the harvest of the first rice crop and the planting of the second rice crop, only a
few varieties of vegetables can be incorporated, such as Pai-tsai (Chinese green leaf
cabbages and yellow-golden cabbages), edible amaranth, yellow melons, watermelons
and oriental pickling melons. The former two vegetables can be planted after the rice
harvest, while the latter must be planted 2-4 weeks before harvest.
At the time of harvesting the second rice crop, two short-term vegetables may be
planted in succession until the following February. One crop of vegetables, followed
by sweet potatoes, can also be incorporated into this system. Usually, vegetables with
a shorter growth period-will be planted first (for instance, Pai-tsai, mustard or Chi-
nese kale), followed by Chinese cabbages, cabbages, cauliflowers, sweet peppers, etc.
Vegetables which are smaller in size and suitable for relay-planting should be planted
Under this system, land preparation is reduced to a minimum and is carried out
- 39 -
only in the case of rice planting. Crops other than rice are grown on elevated ridges
to facilitate irrigation and drainage.
During the interval between the harvesting of the second rice crop and the trans-
planting of the first rice crop, a variety of crops may be grown. If the growing period
is short, two crops of vegetables may be grown in succession. The following table
shows combinations of various crop sequences for winter vegetables.
First crop I Summer 1 Second crop __ Winter__ Winter
of rice crops of rice first second
Variety of Winter Second
SHarvesting Period Vegetable to Follow
No. Winter First Planting (days after Winter First
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 101112
1 Pai-tsai Jan-Dec 30-50 o o o o o o o o o ooo
caDbages Aug-Dec 30-90 o o o o o o o o o o
3 Cabbages Aug-Dec 35-90 o o o 0 o o o o o
4 Lettuces Oct-Dec 30-50 oo o o o o o o o
5 Mustard Oct-Nev 60-120 0 o o o
6 Spinach Sept-Feb 35-85 o o o o o o o o o o o o
7 Celery Sept-Jan 30-50 o o o o o o o o o o o o
8 Edible rape Apr-Nov 30-60 o o o o o o o o o o o o
9 Cauliflowers May-Dec 30-110 0 o o o o
10 Broccoli Aug-Dec 45-80 0 0 o o
11 Radishes Jan-Dec 30-80 o o o o o o o o o o
12 Carrots Sept-Dec 70-140 o o o
The following table summarizes cultivation techniques used in the production of
vegetables in the Taichung Plain area, where the multiple cropping systems are well
- 40 -
Summary Notes on Vegetable Production in the Taichung Plain Area
S Plt Seeding Nursery Planting N-P0-K20 Harvesting
Variety Rate Period Distance Rates er
Season (kg/10a) (days) (cm) (kg/10a) (days after
Pai-tsai Jan-Dec 0.25 20-25 60 x 30 15- 7-12 30- 50
Chinese cabbages Aug-Dec 0.15 20-25 60 x45 25-15-20 30- 90
Cabbages Aug-Dec 0.08 25-30 60 x50 30-12-16 35- 90
Lettuces Oct-Dec 0.08 25-30 30-x 30 24-15-19 30- 50
Chinese kale Apr-Dec 0.26 20-25 30 x 30 11- 7- 9 30- 50
Leaf mustard Oct-Nov 0.14 20-30 60 x 60 17- 7-12 60-120
Spinach Sept-Feb 3.50 i b 18-12-15 35- 85
sowing 30 x 8
Water convolvulus* Dec-May 3.00 wig 30 x 20 24- 8-10 30-230
Edible amaranth Feb-July 0.14 sowing broadcast 10- 7- 5 25- 40
Celery Sept-Jan 0.32 25-30 15 x15 12-12-12 30- 50
Welsh onions Jan-Dec 0.40 40-60 50 x 15 15-16-16 40-120
Shallots Aug-Mar 90(bulb) direct 30 x 15 12-11-12 50- 70
Chinese leeks* Dec-Feb 0.60 60-120 30 x 25 40-20-25 80-180
Edible rape Apr-Nov 0.50 25-30 60 x 30 19-11-13 30- 60
Gachrand s Sept-Jan 1.80 sowing 12 x 12 15-10-12 40- 50
chrysanthemums sowing ,
New Zealand direct
New Zealand Feb-May 2.25 direct 50 x 20 8- 5- 6 35- 60
Cauliflowers May-Dec 0.10 25-30 60 x45 24-12-18 30-110
Broccolli Aug-Dec 0.10 25-30 60 x45 25-15-20 45- 80
Radishes Jan-Dec 0.60 30 x 20 8- 3- 5 30- 80
Carrots Sept-Dec 0.90 ditto 25 x 15 30-20-20 70-140
Yam-beans* July-Nov 4.00 ditto 60 x 30 9-10-11 120-180
Great burdock* Sept-Mar 0.70 ditto 60 x 15 20-12-15 .130-150
- 41 -
Summary Notes on Vegetable Production in the Taichung Plain Area
Seeding Nursery Planting NHarvesting
SeedingPlanting N-P205-K20 Period
Variety P n Rate Period Distance Rates er
Season (kg/10a) (days) (cm) (kg/10a) (days after
Onions* Oct-Nov 0.24 40-50 24 x 12 17-16-20 105-150
Garlic Sept-Dec (bulb) direct 30 x 15 18-12-18 80-115
Barker's garlic* Oct-Dec ulb) ditto 40 x 15 16-12-10 150-180
Asparagus* Mar-Apr 0.45 90-180 120 x 30 45-12-30 180-210
Bamboo shoots* Jan-Apr 200 direct 500 x 500 80-20-60 365-395
Ginger* Jan-Apr blb) ditto 60 x 24 10-20-25 150-270
Taro* Feb-Apr 15.00 ditto 100 x 60 12-10-12 150-200
Water chestnut* July 36.00 35-60 80 x 60 12- 7-36 100-150
Asparagus lettuces Nov-Feb 0.08 25-30 36 x 36 20- 9-14 60- 75
Potatoes Sept-Feb (bul) swing 60 x 30 23-20-36 80-110
Szechuan mustard Nov 0.05 25-30 45 x 40 16-10-18 80- 90
Water oats* (Coba) Mar-Apr plant 30-35 100 x 100 24- 6- 5 150-200
Cucumbers Feb-Sept 0.20 sowing 60 x 50 30-15-24 35- 80
Water melons Feb-July 0.15 ditto 250 x 150 35-20-25 70-100
Melons Feb-July 0.12 ditto 150 x 60 22-12-13 60- 80
Oriental pickling Feb-July 0.18 .ditto 250 x 60 19-12-13 50- 70
Sponge melon Dec-Mar 0.30 25-40 250 x 120 15-13-13 70-180
Squash (pumpkim)* Nov-Mar 0.25 i 250 x150 11-11- 9 100-150
Waxgourds* Jan-Feb 0.18 ditto 300 xng 18-11-15 150-180
Wax gourds* Jan-Feb 0.18 ditto 300 x 200 18-11-15 150-180
- 42 -
Summary Notes on Vegetable Production in the Taichung Plain Area
Seeding Nursery Planting N-PO-KO Harvesting
Variety lantg Rate Period Distance Rates Period
Season (kg/10a) (days) (cm) (kg/10a) (days after
Eggplants* Jan-May 0.08 30-50 80 x 60 30-15-23 60-150
Tomatoes Sept-Mar 0.03 25-40 60 x 45 24-15-20 50-120
Sweet peppers* Mar-May 0.08 30-50 60 x 45 26-19-23 40-150
Kidney beans StOt 7.00 ing 60 x 30 7- 7-10 40- 90
Peas Oct-Nov 6.00 ditto 60 x 30 4- 7-10 50-110
Vegetable soybeans Mar-Oct 6.00 ditto 30 x 10 4- 8u- 9 60- 70
Asparagus beans Jan-Aug 2.40 ditto 80 x 45 7-14-16 45- 90
Lima beans Mar-Apr
Lima beans -p 5.00 ditto 60 x 30 6-12-14 70-120
Broad beansuly Sept-Nov 6.50 ditto 60pt30 8-14-11 130-150
Broad beans* Sept-Nov 6.50 ditto 60 x 30 8-14-11 130-150
* Crops requiring a longer growing period and not suitable
for use in the multiple
Although the reader may find this difficult to understand, paddy sugarcane, which
is a special cane-cultivation system developed in Taiwan, is the most intensive method
of sugarcane production at the present time. The cane that is interplanted into the
paddy with the spring crop of rice is called "Spring paddy sugarcane", while that in-
terplanted with the autumn crop of rice is called "Autumn paddy sugarcane". Over re-
cent years, spring paddy sugarcane has become more important than autumn paddy su-
garcane. Cultivation methods, which have been briefly summarized by P. C. Yang, are
1. Planting time of the cane: 40 60 days after the rice has been transplanted
and 10 20 days before the rice ears are produced. In this way, the sugarcane will
- 43 -
grow 40 50 days with the rice before the latter is harvested.
The spring paddy sugarcane is planted in March or April (growing period: 10
to 11 months), while the autumn paddy sugarcane is planted from September to October
(growing period: 16 to 17 months).
Spring Paddy Autumn Paddy
Rice Taichung 180 Tainan 1, Chianan 8
H37-1933, F152, F146, F149, F152,
Sugarcane F156, F157,F160, F156, F157, F160,
F162 F165, F166, F168
3. Distance between rows:
Rice 0.24mx 0.24m 0.40mx 0.09m
Sugarcane 1.20 1.20
4. Cane cuttings:
Spring paddy: Cuttings of canes with 3 5 buds or autumn nursery 2-bild
rates: 22,000 26,000 per hectare
Autumn paddy: Spring nursery 2-bud cane plants.
rates: 20,000 24,000 per hectare
5. Planting methods:
a. Flooded planting (water soaking method). Two-bud canes are planted on an
angle into the field so that one bud is beneath the ground and the other bud is above the
water level. Before the rice has ripened, the rows should be parted by hand and the
cane pressed down into the soil. This work must be done when the soil is wet.
b. Horizontal planting in a small bed. This method is adopted in sandy land
when the irrigation water may drain off in half a day.
c. Ridge-wall method.. This method is employed in non-irrigated clay land;
ridges should be made and cane plants planted at an angle into the ridge-wall, with one
bud and the seed-cane end exposed to the air.
6. Filling up the gaps: The rows of cane should be closely watched and any gaps
filled in before the harvesting of the rice.
- 44 -
a. During the milk stage of the rice, it is very necessary to press the rice
rows sideways away from the cane to promote the tillering of the latter.
b. After the rice has been harvested, the rice stubble is plowed under with a
cultivator drawn by a buffalo or by a power tiller, in order to prevent any borer dam-
age; the cane should be covered with a thin layer of soil.
1st application: 1/10 of the total nitrogenous fertilizer is applied after
full sprouting of the cane (punch a hole beside each seedling and fill it up with a small
quantity of fertilizer)
2nd application: after the rice is harvested. Apply the full quantity of
P205 and K20 fertilizers and 45/100 of the total N fertilizers.
3rd application: apply remaining N fertilizer (45/100) during hilling.
(Spring paddy: end of July; autumn paddy: end of March)
d. Irrigation: During the growing period, shallow water should be applied to
the cane and rice every week. This irrigation water should be retained for about 4
days and then be drained off. Where the irrigation water disappears rapidly, 'water
should be supplied every two to three days.
e. Prevention and control of borers: spray 45% EPN or 19.5% Endrin on the
rice stubble and the basal portion of the cane plants.
INTERPLANTING SWEET POTATOES WITH SUGARCANE
1 Autumn planted fields:
a. Cane variety: Irrigated land: F146
Hilly land: NCo 310
b. Sweet potato variety:
planted prior to end of August: Tainon 57
planted after early September: Tainon 53
c. Planting time: plant cane in early August and plant sweet potatoes either
at the same time or after the sprouting of the sugarcane.
d. Distance between rows: 1.25 m
e. Plants: sugarcane: 2-bud cane pieces, 24,000 per hectare
sweet potatoes: 8-node cuttings, 30,000 per hectare
f. Fertilization: apply half of the total cane fertilizer during the intercrop-
- 45 -
ping period and the remainder in one application after harvesting the sweet potato
g. Management: (1) fill up the gaps in the cane
(2) control rats
(3) turn aside the vines of the sweet potatoes
2. Autumn paddy cane field:
a. Cane variety: NCo 310, F149, F156, F160
b. Sweet potato variety: Tainon 31, Tainon 53, Tainon 57
c. Planting time of sugarcane:, see 'paddy sugarcane' above
d. Planting time of sweet potatoes:
(1) during the yellow maturing stage of rice
(2) after harvesting the rice crop
INTERPLANTING PEANUTS WITH SUGARCANE
1. Peanut variety: Tainan white 1, Tainan 7, Tainan 9
2. Soil: sandy or sandy loam
3. Planting time:
spring planting: early February to early April
autumn planting: end July to early September
sow peanuts within one week after the cane is planted
4. If the land is too dry, it should be irrigated before land preparation is com-
5. Seed disinfection: mix peanut seeds with Spergon powder (1 kg seed + 2 3g
6. Planting density of peanuts:
distance between rows: 30 35 cm;
distance between hills: 10 cm;
seeding rates: 60 kg per hectare, 2 rows per ridge
7. Fertilization: apply total amount of fertilizer in one dressing before planting.
The requirement is about half that of a regular planting: N 15 kg, P205 30 kg, K20 40
kg per hectare.
8. Weeding and cultivation: carry out once or twice before the flowering of the
peanuts, depending upon the condition of the field.
- 46 -
Percentage of Cane Yield Affected by Interplanting
Type of Yield of
Autumn Spring Remarks
sugarcane Autumn Spring Ratoon paddy paddy (numbers interplanted
planting planting planting crop
Crop cane cane experiments) kgha
Peanuts 2 Autumn (11)
-4 Spring (6) 1,000
not affected ratoon (3)
Sweet potatoes 9 Autumn (20) 1
6 Autumn paddy (10) 17,000
Soybeans -- 6 Autumn (19) 600-700
-6 Spring (9) 820 (spring)
not affected ratoon (9)
Cotton -16 (17) 500-2,000
Rape seed 0.7 Autumn (6)
4 Autumn paddy (9) 600- 1,200
Mint + 2 (2)' 40-60 (oil)
Sorghum 5 Autumn (2)
-11 Spring (2) 1,000-2,000
Tobacco 5 Autumn (3)
9 Spring (1) 1.700-2.200
Wheat 8 (5) 500- 800
Broad beans I- 2 (6) 200 500
Pickling melons -5 (.) 10,000-20.000
Percentage of Cane Yield Affected by Interplanting (continued)
Type of Yield of
\ Type- no Autumn Spring Remarks Yield of
sugarcane Autumn Spring utumn Spring Remars interplanted
planting p Ratoon paddy paddy (numbers of
planting planting planting experiments) crop
Crop s cane cane experiments) kg/ha
Seed melons + 2.5 6 (1) 300- 500 (seeds)
Corn -12 Autumn (6)
-9 ratoon (1) 3,000-4,500
-7 Autumn paddy (1) ,
Mung beans 2 (1) 1,450
Pigeon beans 7 Autumn (4) ,4
not affected Autumn paddy (1) .
Sesame -23 (1) 683
Millet -25 (1) 1,200;
sing) -11 (2) 4,000-10, 000
Radishes + 7 (1) 15,00 '
Flax -16 (1) 800-1,200
Cane plants -28 (1) 15,000 24,900,(cuttings)
Sugar beet 4 Autumn (28) :30, 50,000
7 Autumn paddy (6)
Grapes were introduced into the multiple cropping pattern in 1959. In January or
February, grape cuttings 15 cm in length are planted in the nursery, each of the cut-
tings having two buds. The cuttings are transplanted into rice fields either in May be-
fore the rice harvest or in -July after the rice harvest. Transplanting in May is usual-
ly preferable, but this requires more labor for the interplanting. Owing to the in-
crease in wages during recent years, farmers have nearly all abandoned interplanting
grapes into rice. Before this, however, farmers used to divide their rice field into
two parts and plant one part in grapes and the other in rice. In the third year, the
crops were reversed. Owing to the high profitability of grape growing, the vine-yards
now have a more permanent appearance. Reinforced concrete pillars are erected upon
which wires are strung to provide support for the vines, which are treated as peren-
nial plants. This also means that'the former rice field has now been completely taken
over by grapes. Three consecutive vegetable crops may be raised between the grape
vines in the first year, while the vines are still young, with few branches. One or two
vegetable crops may be grown in the second year, after the grape leaves have fallen.
- 49 -
The success of multiple cropping in Taiwan is really a joint endeavour between
agricultural scientists and farmers.
This pattern of farming is not like a mechanical arrangement of cards, but is the
result of the integration of breeding, soil management and the improvement of tech-
niques. including fertilizer application and plant protection.
Intensive research on multiple cropping has been systematically carried out by the
seven District Agricultural Improvement Stations (DAIS) under the supervision of the
Taiwan Provincial Department of'Agriculture and Forestry, with technical and finan-
cial support coming from the Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction. As a direct
result of this research, the multiple cropping system of Taiwan has been continuously
The major accomplishments of these research activities are as follows:
1. Development of new crops for the multiple cropping pattern
Previously, there were only a few good crops other than rice which would fit the
multiple cropping pattern. Now, through breeding and introductions from other coun-
tries, there is a wide-range of crops available to farmers. Some examples are:
a. Crops following the first crop of rice: Chinese golden cabbages, Pai-tsai,
musk melons, water melons, sweet potatoes, jute, soybeans.
b. Crops following the second crop of rice: Onions, lettuces, asparagus let-
tuces, Chinese kale, spinach, water spinach, broad beans, lima beans, oats, Chinese
rilk vetches, vetches, leaf beet, turnips.
2. Breeding of early ripening varieties
Usually 40 days are available for growing a follow-up crop after the first crop of
rice, and 120 days after the second rice crop. If the growth period of a crop exceeds
these limits, relay interplanting or early ripening varieties with a short growth period
must be used. Accomplishments in the shortening of the growth period of various
crops are shown as follows:
- 50 -
Old Variety New Variety Variation
Crop Growth Growth Period
Variety Period Variety Period
(days) (days) (days)
Taichung No. 65
Taichung No. 65
Kyoto No. 3
Early Snow Ball
Taichung No. 186
Taichung No. 186
Tainan No. 5
Tainan No. 9
Taichung No. 1
Nagaoka Cross 60
3. Improvements in irrigation methods
In 1963, under the sponsorship of the Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction a
vigorous study of the irrigation of upland crops was jointly undertaken by Taiwan Uni-
versity, Chunghsing University, the Sugarcane Research Institute, the Taiwan Water
Conservancy Bureau, the Chianan Irrigation Association and the three District Agri-
cultural Improvement Stations of Tainan, Hsinchu and Taichung. A total of 72 trials.
were carried out on 8 crops. Of these experiments, 69 indicated that controlled irri-
gation, especially when the effective moisture content of the soil was 'above 50 75%,
produced good results. In two of the trials more than 100% increase in yield was ob-
- 51 -
served. The following data were collected,from 65 farms
in 10 townships in the Tai-
Output kg/ha Output kg/ha Yield Data
Crop Without irrigation With irrigation increase % source
Sweet potatoes 18,684 24,895 33.2 10
Rape 1,340 2,776 107.2 15
Wheat 2,058 2,983 44.9 12
Seed 744 1,133 52.3 9
Stem 1,900 3,744 97.1 9
Peas 900 1,043 15.9 7
Corn 2,267 5,467 141.2 3
4. Improvements in fertilizer use
In general, rates and types of fertilizer application are closely related to the
yield and quality of crops. With.the increasing intensiveness of farming brought about
by the progress in multiple cropping, the need for chemical fertilizers increases rap-
idly. Repeated cuts in the prices of locally made fertilizers have further stimulated
the consumption of fertilizers. To keep pace with this increasing consumption, the
domestic fertilizer manufacturing industry has been steadily expanding all the time,
encouraged by strong government support. In order to help farmers achieve the most
economic use of fertilizers, experiments have been conducted extensively by the Dis-
triet Agricultural Improvement Stations on soils of different characteristics, to find
out the optimum time, rates, and methods of fertilizer application for various, crops
grown on different soil types. In 1969, under the guidance of the District Agricultural
Improvement Stations and extension workers, the average amount of N-P205-K20 ap-
plied to one hectare of land in one year reached 174 45 70 kilograms respectively.
The range of N-P205-K20 for various crops recommended to farmers is as follows:
N P205 K20
kg/ba kg/ha kg/ha
Rice (1st crop) 80- 140 20 80 30 70
Rice (2nd crop) 70 120 20 60 40 90
Sweet potatoes 30 80 30 60 120 180
Soybeans 20- 40 40 90 30- 75
Corn 100 140 50- 80 40- 70
": . .. ? '. _l = 71, -II III I I I
- 52 -
N P205 K20
kg/ha kg/ha kg/ha
Red beans (Azuki-bean)
5. Improvement of cultivation methods for follow-up crops
A. Relay interplanting
From the very beginning, the responsibility for developing specialized cultivation
methods for various crops to be planted after the rice crop has fallen on the Taichung
DAIS. The refinement of the relay interplanting system is one of the important results
of this work. Since follow-up crops have to be relay interplanted if their growth pe-
riods exceed 40 days in summer or 120 days in winter, research workers have had to
devise methods whereby rice and the interplanted crop can be grown together without
adverse effects on either crop. It has been found that the best time for sowing or
transplanting the follow-up crop between the rows of rice is immediately after draining
the irrigation water from the field for the last time, this is usually about two weeks
before the harvest of the rice crop. It has also been found that, when wheat is relay
interplanted with rice, the yield of rice will be reduced by 1 2%; if sweet potato
- 53 -
vines are planted after the flowering period of rice, the yield of rice will decrease by
5-6%. This decrease will be 8o or as high as 12%, if sweet potato vines are planted
before the rice has flowered. Furthermore, the follow-up crop has little influence on
the yield of the succeeding rice crop. If sweet potatoes are planted in winter, then the
yield of the first rice crop of the following year will be reduced by only 1.1 1.3%. If
wheat is planted in winter, the reduction in yield of the first rice crop of the following
year will be 7%. When wheat is replaced with flax, the reduction will be 4.7' to
10.4%. Vegetables have the least effect on the yield of the following crop of rice, be-
cause fertilization of vegetables is usually maintained at a high level. Although relay
interplanting may adversely influence the yield of rice, farmers are still willing adopt
this technique, so long as the benefits gained from the use of this practice are greater
than the loss due to the lower yield of rice. For best results, the following techniques
a. The following crops may be planted after the rice has been harvested:
Chinese cabbages, mustard (for summer); wheat, oats, buckwheat, corn,
flax, rape, tobacco, potatoes, carrots, onions, spinach, water spinach, kidney beans,
Chinese milk vetches, vetches (for winter).
b. The following crops may be planted two weeks before the rice is harvested:
Water melons, oriental pickling melons, musk melons, corn' tobacco, cab-
bages, cauliflowers, tomatoes, peas, asparagus lettuces, lettuces, potatoes, carrots,
Chinese milk vetches, vetches.
c. Crops which may be interplanted four weeks before the rice is harvested:
Sugarcane, sweet potatoes, sesbania.
d. Crops which may be interplanted seven weeks before the rice is harvested:
Sugarcane, sweet potatoes, grapes.
Most of the above-mentioned crops are planted in rows, but some may be broadcast
before or after the rice harvest, e.g. wheat, soybeans, flax, rapeseed or green ma-
nure. With the exception of flax and green manure crops, the broadcast method is not
at present commonly practised, because of the weed problem and because crop yields
are lower than those of crops planted in rows.
When relay interplanting is being carried out, special attention should be paid to
the following points:
a. Select early maturing varieties.
b. Select places with irrigation facilities and good drainage.
c. Land preparation should be done very thoroughly before the transplanting
- 54 -
of the rice.
d. Rice should be transplanted in straight rows, evenly spaced; non-trans-
planted rows must be left open at the desired spacing for interplanting fast growing
creeping crops. For instance, for sweet potatoes, leave every 4th or 5th row un-
planted and make soil mounds in rows (5 cm high and 10 cm wide) 20 30 days after
transplanting the rice. For watermelons or yellow melons, leave every 8th or 10th
row unplanted and prepare mounds spot by spot before the seeding or planting of the
e. Unless sugar peas are being grown rice rows should be.planted in the di-
rection of the wind. (there is no problem if rice is transplanted in squares or rectan-
f. Weed control should be done more thoroughly during the rice growing sea-
The advantages and disadvantages of relay interplanting are:
a. To provide more time for the interplanted crops to mature in the field.
b. To utilize efficiently the residual moisture of the soil especially for areas
where irrigation water is insufficient.
c. To provide some shade for the seedlings of the interplanted crops.
d. To permit earlier harvesting, in order to avoid unfavorable weather at
e. To obtain better market prices for early produce.
f. To distribute evenly the demand for farm labor.
Beside the adverse effect on rice-yield, special care must be taken in the in-
terplanting and the harvesting of the rice. Experience is required to devise the best
B. Non-tillage planting
This method is commonly practised by Taiwan farmers along with relay interplant-
ing. Corn, sorghum, sugar peas, etc. are drilled between the rice rows before the
rice harvest; soybeans, azuki beans and pigeon peas are drilled under the rice stub-
ble immediately after harvest. Fertilizers are also applied to the soil surface imme-
diately after the rice harvest, and irrigation water given, twice when necessary. Crop
yields, on the average, are even better than those following normal land preparation.
- 55 -
The advantages of this practice over conventional methods are:
a. The moisture status of a paddy field favors the germination of seeds;
b. Crops can establish earlier and take advantage of the prevailing higher
c. Uniform germination is obtained owing to the uniform depth of seeding;
d. The considerable labor cost of land preparation can be avoided.
When pulse crops are seeded after the rice harvest, rice straw is available on the
spot and is used for mulching purposes in order to conserve soil moisture and to con-
C. Raising seedlings in plastic bags
Watermelons and cantaloupes are normally directly seeded. Under the relay in-
terplanting system, seeds are planted in rice rows about 3 4 weeks before the rice
harvest. However, many farmers have changed over to using a special seedling mix-
ture (1 part of medium textured soil and 3 parts of compost), about 2 4 weeks prior to
the time when the land will be available. The advantages of this method are many:
a. It provides a better environment for the raising of healthier seedlings;
b. It assures a definite number of plants per unit area;
c. It saves the cost of seed, which is usually expensive for improved varie-
d. It shortens the growing period in the main field;
e. It avoids any damage to the rice crop caused by interplanting;
f. It results in an early harvest and reduces the danger of fusarium wilt dis-
ease, which usually occurs during the later growth stages.
- 56 -
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF MULTIPLE CROPPING
It should be remembered that the multiple cropping system. has also assured an ad-
equate increased return to producers, as shown in the Table 9.
Considering for the moment the two crop combinations of rice-rice and rice-vege-
tables-rice-vegetables, we see that, while production costs increased from NTS 15,438
to NT$ 26,072, gross returns increased from NT$ 27,058 to NT$ 50,005 and net returns
from NT$11,620 to NT$23,933. In other words, costs per unit of land per year are
higher for the latter type of quadruple cropping than for the former type of double
cropping, but gross returns are even higher, while net returns are also increased.
Percentage-wise, net and gross returns increased by 106% and 84.8%, respectively,
while costs increased by only 68.9%. The table does not provide information on the
net returns from the individual crops involved. These may well be less than if they
were grown under a single cropping system but the important point is that the aggre-
gate net profit for the year obviously exceeds that obtained from any single crop. This
is the basic reason why farmers make the radical change from an existing single crop-
ping technology to improved, diversified, multiple cropping with its attendant signifi-
cant change in their accustomed rhythm of life.
Now, let us look at the cost components of the two multiple cropping patterns. The
increase in the total cost was 68.9%, made up by labor (which increased by 83.8%),
pesticides (by 70.9%), fertilizers (by 66.2%), animals and machinery (by 48.2%), and
seeds (by 23.4%). However, if we assume that the whole or major part of the labor is
provided by the farm family, as is the normal case in Taiwan, the cash outflow for la-
bor would be very low or nil, while land costs should also be very small. On the other
hand, the intensity of land use increased by 100% (as defined earlier) and of labor use
by 83.8%. These are the special features of the economics of multiple cropping that
we will discuss further.
The basic element of multiple cropping is an order sequence of crops. Individual
crops in a sequence may have a number of possible cultural inter-relationships, and
these influence and complicate the selection of the sequence. In this section, we will
try to express and to analyse some of these inter-relationships in economic terms.
Crops in a rotation are related to one another in a manner that may be competitive
or complementary, assuming that the total amount of inputs-is kept constant and that
- 57 -
Table 9 Net Returns from Multiple-Cropping in Taiwan
(US$ 1 = NT$ 40)
s Production costs
Cropping pattern returns Fertil- Animal Pesti- Total returns Index
(A) Seed ers Labor or ma- cdes Others (l (A-B)
C iters cides (B)
Rice-rice 27,058 474 5,251 6,457 2,391 693 172 15,438 11,620 t00.0
Rice-rice-rapeseed 36,388 560 7,789 9,557 2,951 860 115 21,832 14,556 125.3
Rice-rice-sweet potatoes 36,848 996 7,281 8,477 3,393 751 190 21,088 15,760 135.6
Rice-rice-soybeans 34,819 1,001 6,401 7,835 2,243 813 239 18,532 16,287 140.2
Rice-rice-wheat 39,968 966 8,503 9,736 2,932 1,100 180 23,417 16,551 142.4
Rice-rice-vegetables 42,868 1,443 8,545 10,533 2,846 1,133 233 24,736 18,132 156.0
Rice-rice-tobacco 71,622 464 12,841 23,160 3,938 1,981 6,242 48,626 22,996 197.9
Rice-vegetables-rice-vegetables 50,005 585 8,727 11,867 3,543 1,185 165 26,072 23,933 206.0
Source of data: JCRR Special Report No. 42, "Report on Economic Survey of
Land Utilization and Crop Production in
under-utilized resources are not available. Crop yields may also be "supplementary"
and not affect each other. For instance, the two crops involved in double cropping
may be related to each other as follows:
In this relationship, the output of one crop would be increased through a decline
in production of the other. Given limited physical and labor resources and time con-
straints, this is a most common relationship. Under this situation a farmer would
apply less to one crop if he decides to concentrate his resources on the other.
In this case, an increase in output of one crop helps bring about an increase in
output of the other. This relationship is very much less common, but an example is the
effect of a legume crop on subsequent crops, or the improved growth of a crop in re-
sponse to the application of water or fertilizers to a preceding crop.
In this case, the output of one crop may be increased without having any influence
on the output of the other. Under double cropping, this situation will arise when there
are two well separated seasons for each crop, where adequate fertility and moisture
are available for both, and where there is under-employed labor the year around.
Now, if the quantity of the output of each of two other crops (or enterprise) is re-
presented by Y1 and Y2 respectively, and their changes by AYI and zY2 (only in the
case of positive), then AY/AY2 is the marginal rate of substitution.
The competitive, supplementary and complementary relationship exists when the
rate is less than, equal to or larger than one, respectively.
In actual reality, pure forms of the complementary or supplementary relationship
are unlikely to be found. Combinations of each, involving a competitive relationship,
are more apt to be the case.
In this case, the increased output of one crop may initially bring about some in-
crease in the output of the other, but beyond a certain point they will lapse into a com-
petitive relationship. This could occur when residual moisture or fertility from a first
crop is not adequate to support more than a modest temporary increase in the output of
a second perennial crop.
In this case, the output of each crop initially expands independently of the other,
- 59 -
but beyond a certain point they too will lapse into a competitive relationship. This re-
lationship could occur fairly often, when some resources become limiting only beyond
a certain point.
For example, when a cereal and beans appear alternatively in a cropping system,
there may still be variations based on different cropping ratios. When a system, which
was basically a cropping of grain, changes to the point when beans are the main crop,
the production opportunity curve may show complementary relations at first, but then
becomes competitive. When this is expressed graphically, such a curve is called a
Figure 8. Rotation Curve
On the rotation curve, each point on the curve ab (a, 1, m, n, p, q and b) repre-
sents a cropping system or type of rotation. The two crops are complementary on the
curve from a to m; at m, they are then supplementary for a brief period, while, from
m to b, there exists a competitive relationship.
There are two conditions necessary for attaining a supplementary relationship,
without competitiveness, between the two crops involved in a cropping system. The
first condition is that service of the limited resources involved, such as land, should
be a constant, continuous flow. If the fixed resources embody capital services, such
- 60 -
as fertilizers and chemicals, which vanish after they are applied, the relationship is
always competitive and can never be supplementary. The second condition for the sup-
plementary relationship to emerge is that the two crops differ in their cropping sea-
son. It is very rare for a supplementary relationship to emerge between two crops
having the same cropping season. If there is a crop, for example, soybeans, which
could grow fully by utilizing the sunshine, heat and water remaining between, rows of
rice, there could be a supplementary relationship between rice and soybeans. But
such is a very rare case. For this reason, it is necessary to classify crops accord-
ing to the season in which they occupy a field into winter, spring, summer and au-
What is noteworthy here is that these two conditions are both related to time.
Since it is a basic condition for the formulation of a supplementary relationship that
the service of the fixed resource is a constant flow, the use of the resource might be
called a supplementary service, or, at the same time, it could be called a non-inter-
changeable service, since the use of the resource cannot be diverted to a different
As explained above, two crops in the same cropping system would be supplemen-
tary if the services of a fixed resource were a constant flow and the cropping seasons
of the two crops were different. Where a supplementary relationship like this occurs,
it is possible that a complementary relationship will also emerge, provided certain
conditions are fulfilled.
Such a complementary relationship emerged in Taiwan, for example, when the pro-
duction of grains from a given area of land increased by introducing beans into a
cropping system which formerly consisted of single cropping of grains. Suppose a
field produces, on the average. 4.0 mt of brown rice per ha each year by the single
cropping of rice. Now, if soybeans were introduced as a winter crop and rotated with
the rice, the.yield of rice would possibly increase to 4.5 mt per ha, in addition to the
production of soybeans. Thus a complementary relationship would exist because soy-
beans give, in addition to the harvested stems and leaves, some residues to the soil
which improve the production of rice.
6. Optimum combination
Each point on the rotation curve represents a particular combination of crops in a
rotation and it is often a complex matter to select that which would be consistently the
In general, when output is in the complementary area, the optimum sequence can be
determined technically, simply because, in this case, outputs of both of the produ,.ts
increase simultaneously by increased use of inputs, unless the prices of the two pro-
- 61 -
ducts fall below zero level.
If the output of the crop sequence is in the competitive area, and the resources
used are kept constant, the optimum combination can be determined when the marginal
rate of substitution is equal to the inverse ratio of the prices of the two products.
This can be expressed as follows:
where PY1 and PY2 = prices of products
In analysing the production relationship between two crops in a double cropping
program by the iso-land method of analysis, there will be no problem if the inputs of
capital to crop Y2 are negligible. But, if crop Y2 requires a substantial input of capi-
tal, the net product of crop Y2 (calculated by subtracting the value of capital used from
the the gross product of Y2 ) should be compared with the gross product of the crop Y1,
in order to study which kind of marginal relationship, i.e. competitive, supplementary
or complementary, is formed between them.
This can be shown as follows:
i YI PY2 CY2
SY2 PYI CYI
where CY1 and CY2 = direct production cost of Y1 and Y2
PY2 = -Y1 (PY_ CY1) + CY2
Therefore, it can also be stated that the maximum return can be obtained when the
price of crop (PY2 ) is equal to the substitution ratio ( -L ) multiple by the net price
ratio of the other crop (PY1 CYi) plus the marginal unit cost (CY2).
- 62 -
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BACKGROUND
To understand the multiple cropping system in Taiwan, it is necessary to under-
stand not only the technical background which is supporting this system but also the
social and economic background of Taiwan agriculture:
1. Availability of farm labor
Over the past 20 years, the number of farm families has increased at a rate of
1 .5% per year, from about 680,000 to 880,000 families. At the same time, the area of
cultivated land per farm family has decreased from 1 .29 ha in 1952 to 1 .02 ha in 1972.
Taking agricultural employment as the basis for calculation, the area per unit of agri-
cultural employment is only 0.39 ha. This suggests that adequate farm labor will be
available to undertake multiple cropping once it is proved to be profitable.
2. Increased demand on local and export markets
The annual growth rate of per capital income has been 11 .4% during the -period
from 1952 to 1972, based on current prices. However, calculated on the basis of real
income (about US$ 300/yr), the average growth rate has been 5.1% annually. A better
living standard for the people means a higher purchasing power, which, in turn, stim-
ulates demand for food in larger quantities as well as of better quality. The same
principle results in an increased demand from foreign countries for quality products.
3. Improved marketing
A sound distribution system is a two-way process, providing not only for the sup-
ply of farm produce to consuming areas, but also for the flow of necessary agricultural
inputs to farms. The cost of handling and transportation and of losses due to the dete-
rioration of produce can be reduced to a minimum as the distribution system improves,
thus promoting domestic consumption and facilitating possible export markets. Good
roads and adequate transportation and warehousing facilities are prerequisites for the
improvement of distribution. Without such a system, the increased demand of consum-
ers cannot be satisfied.
4. Farm credit and farmers' organizations
The aim of multiple cropping is to make more money from farming. However,
greater inputs are required for this more intensive method of farming, e.g. seeds,
- 63 -
chemicals, labor, etc. The majority of farmers do not have sufficient reserve funds
available to start a multiple cropping program, when one crop frequently follows an-
other which has not yet been sold. Therefore, it is necessary to have credit made
available (in cash or in kind) to farmers when it is required. A well-organized farm
cooperative is the best way to handle a credit program in conjunction with marketing.
5. Subsidy programs for rice farmers
In order to avoid social disturbances, the Taiwan Government has adopted a policy
of stabilizing rice prices and, at the same time, increasing rice production. Since the
price of rice has usually been maintained at a level about 20% lower than that of the
general level of commodity prices, the Government has had to introduce many projects
to encourage rice farmers to produce more rice in order to compensate for the lower
income from rice farming. The most important of these projects have been:
a. Low interest loans for the operation and purchase of agricultural inputs;
b. Subsidies for the construction of drying grounds, compost shelters, etc.;
c. Distribution of improved seed and fertilizers; and
d. Subsidies for the purchase of water pumps and the development of under-
At the same time, rice farmers are encouraged to grow more crops during the in-
tervals between rice crops, and guaranteed prices have been set for corn, sorghum,
soybeans and rapeseed.
6. Land. reform program
This program in Taiwan can be considered as a factor in agricultural development.
Farmers have security under this program, and are, as a result, anxious to improve
the productivity level of the soil and to explore any possibility of obtaining extra in-
come through the intensive use of a limited resource the land.
7. Cooperative extension program
A successful cooperative extension program is of vital importance in any agricul-
tural country. The mode of dissemination of technical know-how to farmers and ways
of winning.their confidence are the most crucial problems in an extension program.
Extension workers must be fully aware of the farming situation in the area and be able
to give practical advice to farmers. It goes without saying that farmers must display
initiative, as without the participation of willing farmers and their cooperation, the
progress of the program will be very slow.
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At the present time government policy in all countries places great emphasis on
the development of agriculture. Taiwan is no exception to this rule. If the Govern-
ment did not actively support the multiple cropping system, farming would not be as
successful as it is today. In other words, the Government of Taiwan gives every en-
couragement for farmers to develop multiple cropping systems. The following are some
of the more important incentives it has introduced.
1. Land reform and 4-year plans
Taiwan had a land reform program from 1953 to 1963. Because of the land reform
program, 194,823 tenant farmers were turned into farm owners. In the same year
(1953), the inauguration of the first 4-year plan increased to the availability of farm
inputs. The willingness of farmers to invest more inputs to receive more benefits
proved to be the driving force required to accelerate multiple cropping, particularly
in the central-west areas.
2. Improvement and expansion of irrigation facilities
In the central part of the west coast region of Taiwan, where multiple cropping is
very popular, there is a dry season extending from September to the following March.
Crops planted during this season have to depend on irrigation for -water. In other
words, irrigation is indispensable to the practice of multiple cropping in this area.
The Chinese government has implemented a number of irrigation projects. From
1945 to 1960, 37 major irrigation facilities were constructed or restored. Since water
from.streams and existing reservoirs is insufficient to meet irrigation requirements, a
long term program for the development of new water resources has been introduced.
Geological surveys, aiming primarily at helping irrigation and flood control, were ini-
tiated in 1947 and a hydrographic chart, covering the whole island, was completed in
1966. 146 wells were drilled for underground water observation. From 1958 to 1970,
871 deep wells and 396 shallow wells were drilled for irrigation purposes.
At the present time there is a total of 25 reservoirs in Taiwan, 17 of which have
been built since 1945. All of them are integrated with irrigation systems, though ten
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of them have been specially constructed to store irrigation water. Extensive flood
control projects have also been carried out, in coordination with the irrigation pro-
jects, for the protection of farms and irrigation facilities located on the plains.
A rotational irrigation system for rice fields was designed after years of experi-
mentation. This system has enabled those rice fields which are either suffering from
a constant shortage of water or which are threatened by drought in dry years to main-
tain reliable production. A total of 79,000 ha of land have been benefited by this sys-
3. Increased production of chemical fertilizers
When two, three or even four crops are grown on the same piece of land in one
year, the maintenance of soil fertility is a serious problem, which can be solved only
with chemical fertilizers. In 1946, the total chemical fertilizer production of Taiwan
consisted of only 3,204 mt of calcium cyanamide and 1 ,639 mt of calcium superphos-
phate. In 1973, the output had increased to include 741,826 mt of nitrogen fertilizers,
201,210 mt of phosphatic fertilizers and 215,828 mt of compound fertilizers, totalling
1,158,864 mt. Excluding potassium, which is still wholly imported, the production of
other fertilizers has been more than sufficient to meet the requirements of agricultural
4. Other incentives
As stated above Chapter 6, the Government has encouraged Agricultural Experi-
ment Stations to study intensively the technical aspects of multiple cropping, including
mechanization.. It has also encouraged farmers' associations to establish markets and
provide low-interest loans in order to lower the cost of production and to protect far-
mers from exploitation of private money lenders or traders. All these agricultural
policies have helped farmers indirectly to benefit from multiple cropping.
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Although multiple cropping systems are well planned and practised in Taiwan,
there are still several factors which need further investigation. The most important of
1. Adjustment of growth period of rice to reduce typhoon damage
In previous sections it has been mentioned that the creation of the two-rice-crops-
a-year system was the beginning of multiple cropping and that this was inspired, not by
the need for an increased rice output, but to avoid the threat of typhoons. In order to
keep clear of the typhoon season and leave as wide a safety margin as possible, with-
out undue loss in output, thorough trials have been made by the Taichung DAIS on the
optimum transplanting time of rice. The findings are shown in the following table. Ac-
cording to this table, the best transplanting period for the first crop of japonica rice
is late February to early March, and, for the second crop, middle to late July. A sig-
nificant reduction in output has been observed when the transplanting of the first crop
is delayed to late March, and of the second to late August. In these experiments, the
japonica rice seedlings of the first crop were transplanted when they were 30-40 days
old and 15-20 cm high, with 4-5 main leaves. The seedlings for the second crop were
15-20 days old. If seedlings are held in the nursery for a longer period, the final
yield will suffer. Therefore, care must be taken to ensure that the growing of suc-
cessive crops between two rice crops does not delay the transplanting of the rice
seedlings beyond the optimum period indicated above.
Table 10 shows the relationship between yield and transplanting time.
2. Shortening of growth period
Since the optimum transplanting periods and growing seasons of rice have already
been fixed by experiments, the intervening crops must be so arranged that they will fit
into the gaps between the two rice crops; this means approximately 40 days after the
first rice crop and 120 days after the second rice crop. However, the growth periods
of all native crops that can be grown in summer, except Chinese cabbage (Paitsai), ex-
ceed the 40 day limit. All native winter crops, except vegetables, also exceed the 120
day limit. Consequently, the breeding and introduction of varieties with short growth
periods have become necessary. Many foreign varieties have become well known in
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Table 10 Relationship Between Yield and Transplanting Dates of Rice
No. of days
No. of No. of Heading date and standard o Dae of Growth
Date of Yield from Date of
heads grains variance period
transplanting kg/0.1 ha r p p h transplanting harvest (days)
per plant per head () to headindays)
I. 1st Crop Variety: Taichung-150 Age of seedlings: 40 days
Dec. 29 376 13.5 64.6 Apr. 23.7 3.08 115.7 May 29 151
Jan. 8 427 13.6 67.4 Apr. 27.3 3.36 109.3 Jun. 1 144
Jan. 18 '416 13.9 63.3 Apr. 28.0 2.77 100.0 Jun. 2 135
Jan. 28 414 13.1 67.0 May 1.2 3.22 93.2 Jun. 4 127
Feb. 7 468 12.6 70.7 May 2.6 2.23 84.6 Jun. 4 117
Feb. 17 494 12.9 75.2 May 9.6 2.17 81.6 Jun. 16 119
Feb. 27 493 12.7 77.7 May 16.3 3.15 78.3 Jun. 23 116
Mar. 9 451 11.8 75.4 May 26.4 2.52 78.4 July 3 116
Mar. 19 402 10.1 80.8 Jun. 1.8 3.38 74.8 July 12 115
Mar. 29 265 8.9 73.8 Jun. 8.2 6.74. 71.2 July 24 117
Apr. 8 151 9.2 57.8 Jun. 13.7 10.44 66.7 Aug. 18 132
Apr. 18 101 8.7 50.5 Jun. 22.1 16.73 65.1 Aug. 28 132
II. 2nd Crop Variety: Taichung-150 Age of seedlings: 20 days
Jun. 20 414 12.1 80.8 Sept. 6.4 3.03 79.4 Oct. 10 113
Jun. 30 406 11.6 80.5 Sept. 5.3 3.26 68.2 Oct. 10 103
July 10 423 12.7 76.6 Sept. 9.9 1.80 62.9 Oct. 12 95
July 20 443 12.3 77.7 Sept.14.1 1.48 57.1 Oct. 16 89
July 30 431 11.4 80.6 Sept.23.9 2.25 56.9 Oct. 26 89
Aug. 9 408 11.2 72.1 Oct. 7.0 2.68 60.0 Nov. 8 92
Aug. 19 298 11.8 64.5 Oct. 18.1 3.05 61.1 Nov. 21 95
Aug. 29 189 11.7 41.5 Oct. 31.1 3.81 64.1 Dec. 6 100
Sept. 8 112 12.0 20.6 Nov. 11.9 3.38 65.9 Dec. 18 102
Sept. 18 17 12.5 Dec. 2.3 7.08 76.3 Jan. 4 109
Taiwan, e.g. Nakamura rice (Japan); Showa Early (Japan), Saitama-27 (Japan) and
Florence (Italy) wheat; Shihshih (Japan), Wakajima (Japan) and Palmetto (USA) soy-
beans; Isesato (Japan) rape; H37-t933 (Hawaii) sugarcane, etc. When these foreign
varieties were crossed with other local or foreign varieties, a series of new varieties
characterized by early ripening and high yields was created, e.g. Taichung-65, -150,
-180 and -186 rice; Taichung-2, -29, -31, -32 and -33 wheat; Taichung Special-2,
Hsinchu Special-2 rape; Hsinchu-1 and Taichung-1 sweet potatoes, and Tainan-9 corn.
Nevertheless, most varieties of crops with an extremely short growth period are not
acceptable, since the yields of these varieties are low. It may not be worthwhile to
provide an intervening crop capable of maturing within the time available, if this means
sacrificing too much of the rice yield, especially if the growth period of the rice has to
be shortened. The 100 days for the first rice crop and 82 days for the second rice
crop required by Taichung-186 are believed to be the minimum periods for the produc-
tion of satisfactory rice yields, and any further shortening of the growth period needs
careful consideration. When the intervening crops, e.g. tobacco, are highly profita-
ble, farmers may be willing to compromise. The well-established, early-ripening rice
varieties bred by the Taichung DAIS are as follows:
Variety Growth period (days) Yield (kg/ha)
1st crop 120 4665
2nd crop 97 4338
1st crop 116 4510
2nd crop 89 4310
1st crop 100 3789
2nd crop 82 3359
Eight Thousand Gold
1st crop 95 3213
2nd crop 78 2932
1st crop 123 5646
2nd crop 97 4997
1st crop 110 5690
2nd crop 103 4744
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3. Relay interplanting
When the growth period of an intervening crop exceeds the number of days avail-
able between two rice crops, the crop has to be planted between the rows of rice be-
fore the rice is harvested. In the central and southern parts of Taiwan, where winter
is dry, relay interplanting also provides the crop following the second rice crop with
the benefit of the residual water in the rice field. Since the temperature before the
harvest of the second crop of rice is high and it will become lower after the rice har-
vest, relay interplanting will enable the crop to grow more strongly, as it is able to
take advantage of the high temperature. When the period during which rice and the fol-
lowing crop grow together is less than 30 days, it is called "regular" or "late" relay
interplanting. If the overlapping of the growth period of the two crops exceeds 30
days, it is called "renovated" or "early" relay interplanting. When early relay inter-
planting is practised, seedlings of the following crop are likely to be affected by their
prolonged growth under the shade of the rice. As a remedial measure, the spacing be-
tween the rows of rice should be widened, either by reducing the number of rows, or
by moving the rice plants from every fourth (or eighth) row to the neighboring rows.
The decision depends largely on the experiences and labor situation of the farmer and
his fellow-workers. The way to move the plants is shown in Fig. 8.
Table 11 Comparison Between Relay Interplanting and Normal Planting
Date of Date of Total days Yield Yield
planting harvest of growth (kg/ha) index
Relay Sept 25 Dec 1 432 214,003 100
Normal planting Dec 1 Dec 1 366 143,892 67.2
(Experiment conducted in 1941 1942; sugarcane variety, F108)
Table 12. Comparison Between Relay Interplanting at Various
Lengths of Overlapping of Growth Periods
Date sugarcane planted: Aug 25 Sept 10 Sept 25 Oct 10
Yield of sugarcane (kg/ha): 133,200 129,600 127,200 123,900
Yield index: 100 97.3 95.5 93
(Experiment conducted in 1936 1937; sugarcane variety, POJ 2725)
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0 0 0
0 O 0
0 0 0
o o 0
0 0 0
o o 0
0 0 0
o o0 0
0 0 0
0 0 0
O O O0
Fig. 8. Method of moving the rice plants for
the following crop
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APPLICATION OF THE TAIWAN MULTIPLE CROPPING
SYSTEM TO OTHER ASIAN COUNTRIES
Some of the many factors which must first be investigated before a country is able
to adopt the Taiwan multiple cropping systems include the natural environment (cli-
mate, soils, etc.), social conditions (the available amount of staple foods, labor re-
sources, knowledge of farmers, etc.) and the economic situation of the country. These
are all important matters which need to be fully considered. For the present, the au-
thor will limit his remarks to the natural environment and its relation to the cultivation
1. Climate and multiple cropping (See Table 6)
The particular climatic conditions which make the complicated Taiwan system pos-
a. A general lack of frosts throughout the year (to be precise, only about one
every 3 4 years).
b. The mean temperature of the coldest month is normally above 150C.
c. 'The mean minimum temperature of the coldest month is not below 11 120C.
If we take an extreme example and compare the temperatures of Suweon with those
of Taipei (Fig. 10), it is clear that it is impossible to apply the multiple cropping sys-
tems of Taiwan directly to Korea. As previously stated, the time to introduce other
crops to the paddy field is after the rice harvest. However, in Korea, since the cold
weather commences in early September and continues until the following March, the
opportunity for active growth of crops after the rice crop is very limited.
The introduction of other crops to follow the rice crop might be feasible if it were
possible to make an earlier start in the cultivation of the rice in the spring. Although
spring temperatures are too cold for rice in the paddy field, seedlings may be pro-
tected in the nursery. Therefore,the successful production of a follow-up autumn crop
might be secured by:
a. Early seeding of the rice.
b. Developing techniques of raising rice seedlings in the nursery, protected from
cold temperatures, possibly by the use of vinyl shelters.
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J FMAM JJASO N D
Fig 10. Mean monthly temperatures of Taipei compared
with these of Suweon, Korea
c. Developing techniques for introducing other crops either after the rice. har-
vest or by "relaying" them in the rice growing period, providing there is no reduction
in the normal yield of the rice.
d. Breeding new varieties of crops which will complete their life cycle during the
short available period in the autumn.
e. Commencing studies of cold injury to crops, and methods of protecting them
from such damage.
2. Water supply and moisture condition of soils
In most Asian countries, there is a definite cycle of a rainy season with high tem-
peratures and a dry season with comparatively cool temperatures. Therefore, as a
rule, winter crops are grown after the harvest of the second rice crop, early in the
cooler, drier season.
As a result, the growth of these winter crops may be limited by the amount of rain
which falls during this season. Consequently, if we wish to introduce a multiple crop-
ping system under these climatic conditions, we must study the seasonal distribution of
rain and consider the necessity of establishing an irrigation system.
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One of the reasons why multiple cropping has been so successful in Taiwan is that
this country has well-developed irrigation schemes which supply adequate water dur-
ing the dry season. Moreover, a high level of economy of water use is general, as
most Taiwan farmers have a good knowledge of the water holding capacity of their soils
and make a practice of applying the maximum possible amount of organic residues to
their field, in order to keep the water holding capacity of the soil at as high a level as
Farmers also pay much attention to mulching techniques, to conserve water in the
drier season; since the growing period of the second crop season coincides with the
rainy season, they give adequate attention to drainage when this is necessary.
3. Prevention of disease and insect damage
4. Maintenance of the fertility of soils
Factors (3) and (4) depend upon local conditions and must be considered case by
case in each individual country.
5. Other social economic factors
Up to the present, we have discussed the problems associated with the multiple
cropping systems only from the standpoint of agricultural technology, and have not
dealt with the related social and economic issues. However, anyone wishing to intro-
duce the Taiwan multiple cropping systems to his own country, would find it very dif-
ficult to persuade farmers to adopt the new techniques, unless very careful attention
were paid to the social and economic conditions prevailing in that country.
The questions participants have put to us during the various training courses we
have conducted on multiple cropping were concerned with both agricultural techniques
and policy and economy. Most of the questions concerning policy and economy may be
summarized as follows:
Question 1: Would you not agree that the successful introduction of these ad-
vanced techniques into Taiwan was in large part due to the following socio-economic
a. Taiwan has been successful in land reform.
b. Taiwan's policy is to maintain the price of rice at a comparatively low figure.
This stimulates the adoption of multiple cropping.
c. Because of rapid industrialization, the incomes of laborers in industry are in-
creasing. The consequent changes in the diet of these people stimulate the demand for
the high quality crops and vegetables produced by a multiple cropping system.
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d. Taiwan has already a well-developed irrigation network, but there are no ir-
rigation facilities in many other parts of Asia. How do we introduce multiple cropping
to these countries?
Answer 1: First of all, we will say that we agree with your comments. We are
convinced that, unless we recognize the importance of the socio-economic factors in
Taiwan, we cannot determine the applicability of the multiple cropping systems of Tai-
wan to other countries.
a) The impact of land reform:
We believe that land reform is usually a vital factor in providing the incentive
for farmers to improve their farm management techniques. Indirectly, this could stim-
ulate interest in multiple cropping; in actual fact, however, before the completion of
the land reform program in Taiwan, farmers were already employing multiple cropping
systems in their fields.
b) Price policy:
This is the main factor which has stimulated the development of multiple crop-
ping systems in Taiwan. As you mentioned, the price of rice is kept comparatively low
and, as a result, the only way for farmers to increase their income is to plant other
crops between the rice seasons. Farmers are eager to introduce several types of in-
tensively cultivated crops in their fields, while the Government has also actively en-
couraged multiple cropping. Taiwan is industrializing very rapidly, and there is a
movement of the rural population into industry, while there are marked differences be-
tween the incomes of the rural and urban sectors. The Government is accordingly en-
couraging farmers to adopt multiple cropping techniques as these will enable them to
secure higher incomes per unit area of land.
c) Change in the pattern of diet:
The changes in the diet of urban dwellers are also stimulating the production of
high protein foods, fruits and vegetables. However, as traditional Chinese dishes
have always been very nutritious, we are not inclined to regard this as a very impor-
-tant factor compared with (b).
d) Irrigation system:
We agree that if we want to promote multiple cropping systems widely throughout
Asia, the provision of extensive irrigation systems is highly desirable. However, we
believe that there are alternatives available, although these are probably slower and
Although the monsoon type of climate is general in Southeast Asian countries,
the pattern of rainfall varies from one area to another. For example, in the northern
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part of Taiwan, the winter is rainy and no irrigation is necessary to grow vegetables.
The southern part of the island is relatively dry in the winter,' but there is always
some rainfall, which sometimes is quite adequate. As a rule, if we conserve this wa-
ter in the soil and utilize it efficiently, winter crops may be grown fairly successfully.
Of course, only irrigation systems can guarantee consistently good yields of crops
even in an extremely dry year.
Accordingly, from the technical standpoint, by studying rainfall patterns and
making use of the water holding capacity of the regional soils, we may find it possible
to recommend multiple cropping systems with confidence. If these are profitable, we
can, in due course, recommend the establishment of irrigation systems.
Question 2: The application of these complex techniques demands a high level of
ability on the part of farmers. Chinese farmers have these qualities, but are you con-
fident that, in other Southeastern countries, farmers are equally well informed and
Answer 2: We agree that human factors have played an important part in the pro-
motion and success of the multiple cropping system in Taiwan. Undoubtedly, Chinese
farmers are capable and adequately educated to absorb and digest the new technology.
The majority are diligent by nature and are ashamed to be idle.
However, it is obvious from our experience in the Philippines and in Vietnam
that some pioneer farmers are already absorbing these techniques from Chinese Agri-
cultural Missions or from our own staff stationed in their various countries. I think
we can also expect that the multiple cropping systems will spread gradually amongst
the ordinary farmers through their imitation of these pioneer farmers.
Consequently, from the technical viewpoint, we are optimistic that, although it
may take some time, multiple cropping systems will become common practice in other
Question 3: Taiwan is industrializing very rapidly and is already a major indus-
trial country. The consequent withdrawal of labor from the rural sector is already
causing labor shortages in agriculture. Since multiple cropping is one of the most
labor demanding techniques, are you confident that Taiwan can sustain this kind of in-
tensive agriculture in the future ?
Answer 3: Early primitive agriculture was a mono-culture or, at most, a combina-
tion of two crops. Later, with the development of civilization, agriculture gradually
became complicated and included several types of crops, such as root crops, legumes,
industrial crops and vegetables, giving rise to the typical European type of crop rota-
tion or to a multiple cropping system such as we see in Taiwan.
This more advanced and colorful stage of development of agriculture stimulates
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industry and encourages increases in population; in time, the continuing rapid deve-
lopment of industry leads to the creation of a commercial sector. This results in the
outflow of population from the rural areas, which necessarily promotes the mechaniza-
tion of agriculture.
The effect of this labor shortage and the consequent reliance on mechanization
in agriculture will result in a change back to a simple or mono-culture type of farming
and the development of so-called "main-production regions" for particular crops (third
Agriculture in Taiwan is at the end of the second st-ge.
Although industrialization has grown quite remarkable in modern Taiwan, the
large family unit system is still general in rural areas. Therefore, even though there
may be a drain of labor from a farmer's family in Taiwan, he usually has one or two
sons who remain at home to help operate a comparatively large-scale farm as a man-
agement unit. On the other hand, if an outflow of labor occurs from the small family
unit of a Japanese farmer, it is likely that only the grandfathers and the women are left
behind to tend the farm while the able young men are attracted to urban industry. In
other words, the impact of industrialization on the agriculture of Taiwan is mild com-
pared with the situation in Japan.
However, because of the above circumstances we agree that it will be difficult
to maintain the relatively complicated multiple cropping systems, and, as we have in-
dicated, the agriculture of Taiwan is likely to change gradually to a simpler culture
system with a higher degree of mechanization.
We doubt if this change will take place throughout Taiwan within the next five
years, but we do think that the present era of multiple cropping is in its "golden age"
in this country and that the change to "simple" agriculture is inevitable.
In anticipation of this, the Taiwan Government has a positive policy of develop-
ment of slopelands and their utilization as large scale single crop enterprises. Mean-
time, the multiple cropping systems will be adopted by other countries, where natural
conditions are comparable and where socio-economic conditions are similar to those of
Taiwan over the past few decades.
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