Micronutrient phytomass, levels and accumulation in millet, jack bean and pigeon pea, as sole crops and in intercropping

Intercropping leguminous with gramineous crops for straw production in no-tillage systems aims to conciliate soil protection (through greater durability of gramineous crops) with nitrogen fixation and faster micronutrient availability (through leguminous decomposition). Therefore, an experiment was conducted with the intention of evaluating phytomass production as well as micronutrient levels and accumulation in millet (Pennisetum typhoides (Burm.) Stapf), jack bean (Canavalia ensiformes (L.) DC.), and pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan, dwarf cultivar), as sole crops and intercropping gramineous with leguminous crops, for straw production in a no-tillage system. The experiment was carried out in the experimental field at the Agriculture Department of the Federal University of Lavras (Lavras, Minas Gerais state, Brazil). The experimental was conducted using a randomized block design, with seven treatments for species nutrient levels under different conditions (sole crops or intercropping) and five treatments for phytomass production and micronutrient accumulation, with four replications. For phytomass production, only the pigeon pea sole crop displayed lower yield of fresh and dry phytomass, while the others produced on average 12.361 and 2.854 t ha-1 of fresh and dry phytomass yield, respectively. There were significant differences in B, Cu and Zn levels, and in accumulation of all evaluated micronutrients. The leguminous species presented the greatest B levels, with the greatest Cu and Zn levels found in millet. In general, millet plus jack bean intercropping presented the greatest micronutrient accumulation.

no-tillage; green manuring; micronutrients; nutrient cycling

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