Ciência e Agrotecnologia
versión impresa ISSN 1413-7054
PERIN, Adriano et al. Banana plant performance intercropping with perennial herbaceous legumes. Ciênc. agrotec. [online]. 2009, vol.33, n.6, pp. 1511-1517. ISSN 1413-7054. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-70542009000600008.
The use of coverage plants in cover cropping with bananas can be a management strategy, increasing in productivity associated with the optimization of biological processes and greater stability of production system. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of live coverage by herbaceous perennial legume on the yield of banana cultivar Nanicão. The treatments were: forage groundnut (Arachis pintoi Krap. & Greg), tropical cudzu (Pueraria phaseoloides Benth.), siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum Urb.), spontaneous vegetation (mainly Panicum maximum Jacq.) and spontaneous vegetation + N-fertilizer. Banana plant vegetative development and yield attributes between April/1999 and August/2000 were assessed. In comparison to other treatments, bunch and hand weight were more positively influenced by tropical cudzu and siratro legumes employed as live coverage. All legumes promoted higher vegetative growth for banana plants (notably from the 6th month on), a greater number of leaves, and a higher proportion of harvested bunches in relation to spontaneous vegetation (with and without N-fertilizer). Siratro and tropical cudzu legumes promoted adequate conditions for the development of the banana plants, generating yield gains, and the elimination of the need of nitrogenous fertilization in the banana plantation. The beneficial potential of tropical cudzu and siratro legumes as live coverage intercropping with banana plants qualify these species as promising alternatives for soil fertility and banana nutrition.
Palabras llave : Musa spp.; cover crops; nitrogen fertilizer; green manure.