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Print version ISSN 0006-8705On-line version ISSN 1678-4499


DEVIDE, Antonio Carlos Pries et al. Yield of cassava roots intercropped with corn and cowpea in an organic system. Bragantia [online]. 2009, vol.68, n.1, pp.145-153. ISSN 0006-8705.

Organic systems were evaluated for cassava root production directed to human comsumption in natura, at Seropédica-RJ. Treatments consisted of: cassava ('IAC 576-70') in single cropping and its intercropping with corn ('Eldorado'), cowpea ('Mauá') or corn plus cowpea. The organic management was standardized and the experimental area was submitted to artificial irrigation during the period of stay of maize in the system. "Green" (immature) corn ears were harvested at the "point" required for fresh marketing and the shoot placed on the ground. The cowpea was included to function as green manure being cut at flowering with residues left on the soil surface. Corn and cowpea were sown between cassava rows, in an alternate design, following the first weeding of the main crop (cassava). The cultivar IAC 576-70 showed suitability with respect to organic management, yielding approximatelu 31 Mg ha-1 of marketable roots. No significant differences were detected between cassava single cropping and any of the intercropping tested systems. Thus, corn crop has considerable potential for additional income to the growers. Yield of 'Eldorado' corn averaged 18.125 ears ha-1 correspponding to 5,1 Mg ha-1. Residues coming from cowpea cutting brought about an input close to 12 Mg ha-1, which meant an expressive contribution in nutrient elements, especially nitrogen (about 44 kg N ha-1). The legume crop, in addition, completely covered cassava inter-rows demonstrating its potential for controlling erosion and weeds. The triple intercropping becomes advantageous considering that corn harvesting would justify irrigation and that inclusion of cowpea meant benefitial effects to the system and did not interfere on cassava yield.

Keywords : Manihot esculenta; intercrop; green manure; organic agriculture.

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