Jose Aloisio Alves Moreira, Marcia Thais Melo Carvalho, Alcido Elenor Wander, Agostinho Dirceu Didonet:
Growth and Productivity of Maize Cultivated in No-Tillage in Succession of Different Cover Crops


1Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), National Rice and Beans Research Center (CNPAF), Brazil
2Universidade Do Estado Do Para, Depertamento de Ciencias Naturais, Brazil
3Federal University of Goias (UFG), Faculdades Alves Faria (ALFA), Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Brazil

The use of cover plants, especially leguminous, can improve the fertility of the soil by the nutrients cycling and adds N by symbiotic fixation. In the organic system of production is not allowed the use of fertiliser whit high solubility. Thus the use of agricultural systems with leguminous species is an efficient strategy in promoting the accumulation of total N in the superficial layer of the soil, for the maize nutrition This work was carried out with the objective of evaluating, through the growth analysis, the effects of cover plants on the development of maize (Zea mays L.) cultivars AG 1051, under no-tillage, in organic system of production. This study was conducted in typic dystrophic Red Latosol (Oxisol) located at Experimental Station of Embrapa Rice and Beans, in Santo Antônio de Goiás, Goiás State, Brazil. The experiment was carried out in a randomised block design, using five treatments with four replications. The treatments was represented by cover plants: velvet bean (Mucuna aterrima), Dwarf pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), Sun hemp (Crotalaria juncea), Sorghum (Sorghum technicum), and fallow with spontaneous vegetation. For evaluating leaf area and dry matter production, ten samples were collected at seven days intervals, randomly taking three plants, replicated two times. The growth analysis showed for the variables leaf area and dry matter production significant differences for those maize plants cultivated in succession to the leguminous, especially velvet bean and sun hemp, and for those cultivated in succession to the spontaneous vegetation and sorghum. The medium productivity of ears of maize without husk went larger for the system of succession sun hemp"=maize (11.534kgha-1).

Keywords: Growth analysis, leaf area index, leguminous, Zea mays, maize

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Contact Address: Jose Aloisio Alves Moreira, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), National Rice and Beans Research Center (CNPAF)Brasilia, Brazil, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, November 2007