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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


PACHECO, Leandro Pereira et al. Biomass production and nutrient cycling of cover crops in upland rice and soybean. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2011, vol.35, n.5, pp.1787-1800. ISSN 1806-9657.

The cover crops in no-till system can contribute to the formation of mulch and nutrient cycling to annual crops in succession. The objective of this study was to evaluate biomass production and nutrient cycling of cover crops sown in the second growing season, in crop rotation after upland rice and soybean, in no-tillage and conventional tillage systems, on a Red Latassol of Rio Verde, state of Goiás, from April 2008 to April 2010. The experiment was evaluated in randomized strips, in a 5 x 6 factorial design, with four replications. In the horizontal strips two soil management systems (after three years of no-tillage and conventional systems) were evaluated and the cover crops in the vertical strips. Biomass and ground cover and nutrient cycling rates were only evaluated in the no-till treatments, in a 5 x 6 factorial arrangement, where the plots were subdivided, corresponding to six harvest dates of dried biomass 0, 15, 30, 60, 90 and 120 days after cutting of the cover crops. The following cover crops were sown in the second growing season: Brachiaria ruziziensis, Pennisetum glaucum and B. ruziziensis + Cajanus cajan and a fallow treatment as reference. Biomass production and the rates of soil cover and nutrient accumulation and release by cover crops as well as rice and soybean yield were evaluated. B. ruziziensis and B. ruziziensis + C. cajan performed best in biomass production, ground cover and nutrient accumulation at the end of the cover crops. The nutrients N and K had the highest concentration in the biomass, and the highest nutrient release to the soil was observed for K and P. The highest rice yield was observed when grown in no-tillage on crop residues of P. glaucum and B. ruziziensis, while soybean yields did not differ in the treatments.

Keywords : crops succession; no-tillage; decomposition; grain yield; mulch.

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