Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
Print version ISSN 0100-0683
AULER, Pedro Antonio Martins; FIDALSKI, Jonez; PAVAN, Marco Antonio and NEVES, Carmen Silvia Vieira Janeiro. Fruit yields of 'Pêra' orange under different soil tillage and interrow management systems. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2008, vol.32, n.1, pp. 363-374. ISSN 0100-0683. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832008000100034.
The conventional soil tillage used in the implantation of citrus orchards is based on the removal of the plant residues and soil tilling in the entire area, and the management of orchards on the elimination of any plant residues from the interrows. This has led to erosion and reduced soil fertility, with negative effects on the trees and the environment. The objective of this study was to evaluate soil management systems that decrease soil erosion and improve the fertility status of a Typic Paleudults originated from Caiuá sandstone, cultivated with citrus in the northwestern state of Paraná, Brazil. Two soil tillage systems were evaluated: conventional tillage (CT) in the entire area, and strip-tillage (ST) with 2 m width, with different interrow management systems. The citrus cultivar was Pêra orange (Citrus sinensis) grafted onto 'Rangpur' lime (Citrus limonia) rootstock. The citrus orchard was established in August 1993, and the tree rows were spaced 7 m apart with 4 m between trees. The experiment was set up in a randomized block design with three replications and six treatments: (1) CT and pineapple intercropping in the first year followed by weed control with post emergence herbicide; (2) CT and annual cover crop with the leguminous crop Calopogonium mucronoides; (3) CT and perennial cover crop with the leguminous peanut Arachis pintoi; (4) CT and evergreen cover crop with Bahiagrass Paspalum notatum; (5) CT and cover crop with spontaneous Brachiaria humidicola grass vegetation and (6) ST and maintenance of the remaining grass (pasture) of Brachiaria humidicola. From 1993 to 2005, the soil and leaf chemical composition and fruit yields were evaluated. Soil analyses showed a significant increment in organic carbon content in the treatments 4 and 6 compared to the treatments 1 and 3. There were no significant differences among the treatments for the accumulated fruit yields from 1996 to 2005. The soil tillage in strips with grass remaining in the interrows was considered appropriate for the citrus orchard establishment. The grass species were more suitable than the leguminous plants for the improvement of soil fertility.
Keywords : Citrus sinensis; organic carbon; soil management; soil preparation.