Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
On-line version ISSN 1806-9657
PARIZ, Cristiano Magalhães et al. Straw decomposition of nitrogen-fertilized grasses intercropped with irrigated maize in an integrated crop-livestock system. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2011, vol.35, n.6, pp.2029-2037. ISSN 1806-9657. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832011000600019.
The greatest limitation to the sustainability of no-till systems in Cerrado environments is the low quantity and rapid decomposition of straw left on the soil surface between fall and spring, due to water deficit and high temperatures. In the 2008/2009 growing season, in an area under center pivot irrigation in Selvíria, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, this study evaluated the lignin/total N ratio of grass dry matter , and N, P and K deposition on the soil surface and decomposition of straw of Panicum maximum cv. Tanzânia, P. maximum cv. Mombaça, Brachiaria. brizantha cv. Marandu and B. ruziziensis, and the influence of N fertilization in winter/spring grown intercropped with maize, on a dystroferric Red Latosol (Oxisol). The experiment was arranged in a randomized block design in split-plots; the plots were represented by eight maize intercropping systems with grasses (sown together with maize or at the time of N side dressing). Subplots consisted of N rates (0, 200, 400 and 800 kg ha-1 year-1) sidedressed as urea (rates split in four applications at harvests in winter/spring), as well as evaluation of the straw decomposition time by the litter bag method (15, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 180 days after straw chopping). Nitrogen fertilization in winter/spring of P. maximum cv. Tanzânia, P. maximum cv. Mombaça, B. brizantha cv. Marandu and B. ruziziensis after intercropping with irrigated maize in an integrated crop-livestock system under no-tillage proved to be a technically feasible alternative to increase the input of straw and N, P and K left on the soil surface, required for the sustainability of the system, since the low lignin/N ratio of straw combined with high temperatures accelerated straw decomposition, reaching approximately 30 % of the initial amount, 90 days after straw chopping.
Keywords : Brachiaria; Panicum maximum; lignin [N ratio]; no-tillage system; Zea mays L.