In early 2023 Wopke van der Werf and his team had the happy news that their meta-analysis on the productive performance of intercropping had been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, better known by its abbreviation PNAS. Now, in 2024, an adaptation of this journal paper for middle and high school children was published in the American Science Journal for Kids. The editors of this journal have done a marvellous job making the potential of intercropping, accessible to kids. This will bring intercropping to the classroom at high schools.
Check it out here if there is a curious child in you!
The first author, Chunjie Li, is a former PhD student whose PhD was supervised by Wopke van der Werf, and the original PNAS paper was an offshoot of her PhD thesis work. Further inputs were specially made by TjeerdJan Stomph at Wageningen University and David Makowski, with whom Wopke van der Wef had before collaborated productively on meta-analysis of intercropping data. The article is also a result of the long term collaboration of WUR with China Agricultural University (also partners in IntercropVALUES), hence additional authors Zhang Fusuo, Zhang Chaochun and Li Haigang.
In addition to the article itself, American Science Journal for Kids has produced a text-to-speech version for students with disabilities, as well as a collection of relevant teaching resources – you can see them on the article’s page.
Picture above: wheat/maize/soybean intercropping in Gansu (China), by Wopke van der Werf. Acknowledgements also to China Agricultural University (Pr. Li Long) for organizing the field trip on which this picture was made.