Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
Print version ISSN 0100-0683
GARBIATE, Marcos Vinícios et al. Interril erosion from area under burned and green sugarcane harvested by hand and mechanically. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2011, vol.35, n.6, pp. 2145-2155. ISSN 0100-0683. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832011000600029.
Although a number of studies related to environmental issues address air pollution, the increased use of biotechnology and mechanical harvesting of sugar cane, less attention has been paid to the negative environmental impacts caused by laminar erosion. This study aimed to determine the levels of organic matter (OM) and nutrients (P, K, Ca and Mg) in sediment and runoff water from interrill erosion from different sugarcane harvest systems (green and burnt cane), on a loamy Dystrophic Red Latosol (Oxisol). The treatments consisted of burnt cane harvested by hand, mechanical harvesting of green cane and mechanical harvesting of burnt cane. A portable rainfall simulator was calibrated to apply rainfall of 60 mm h-1, for 50 min. The sediment concentration in runoff resulting from interrill erosion, as well as OM, P, K, Ca and Mg were higher in the system with mechanical harvesting of burnt cane, while losses were lowest from the system with mechanized harvesting of green cane. The soil physical quality is negatively influenced by the management system with mechanical harvesting of burnt cane, due to the pressure exerted by the harvest machine traffic. However, crop residues distributed across the soil surface at mechanical harvesting of green cane reduce losses of soil, nutrients and OM in the sediment, and increase the soil resistance against physical degradation caused by machinery traffic for mechanical harvesting of sugarcane.
Keywords : mechanical harvesting; erosion processes; simulated rain; soil cover; structural stability.