EP66 Polycultures

EP66 Polycultures

Have you ever found yourself scratching your head trying to make sense of all those terms like polycultures, cocktail crops, intercropping, cover crops, companion cropping, and relay crops? It’s understandable! They all seem to be part of the vast landscape of good land stewardship practices, like sustainable agriculture, organic agriculture, agroecology, permaculture, and regenerative agriculture. Oh, and let’s not forget our personal favorite—agricultural climate solutions. But here’s the thing: are these different systems truly distinct, or are they more closely related than we think? 

Back in December of 2022, we hosted a webinar with Dr. Jill Bainard, from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, on polycultures in forage systems. Dr. Bainard was great at explaining the difference between most of those cropping systems we listed above, so as we often do on this podcast, we took the audio recording from the webinar, chopped it up, and turned it into a podcast episode. You can also watch the webinar recording on our YouTube channel.  


  • 2:37 – Dr. Bainard shares her background and experience working in agriculture.
  • 3:18 – What is a polyculture?
  • 10:01 – What is Dr. Bainard research telling us about polycultures?
  • 16:30 – Dr. Bainard shares seeding considerations when it comes to productivity.
  • 18:58 – What is the potential for weed suppression?
  • 23:26 – What are some things to consider when utilizing polycultures for forage?
  • 27:10 – Dr. Bainard discusses palatability.
  • 31:24 – What were the results from Dr. Bainard’s polyculture test plots?
  • 40:53 – Dr. Bainard shares her final thoughts.

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