Macronutrient release from straw of millet and millet - jack - bean intercropping under common bean

Nutrients recycle is related to the absorption capacity by different cover crop species. Already speeds of decomposition and of nutrient release of straws produced is mostly related with C/N ratio, with a marked difference between grasses and leguminous. In this sense, the objective of this study was to evaluate the biomass production and macronutrient contents and accumulation, decomposition, and nutrient release from straw of millet (Pennisetum typhoides (Burm.) Stapf) and millet - jack - bean (Canavalia ensiformes (L.) DC.) intercropping, under field conditions, under common bean, sown in August (winter/spring). Decomposition and nutrient release was determined in nylon bags (0.2 x 0.2 m, 1 mm mesh) filled with straw quantities according to the area of the bag. The experimental design was randomized blocks with four replications in split plot arrangement. The straws represented the plots and the subplots evaluation periods (0, 8, 16, 24, 40, 56, and 72 days). The residues were dried to constant weight in a forced-air oven at 65 ºC to determine the remaining dry matter, then ground and sent to a laboratory to analyze macronutrient contents. Based on the contents and remaining dry matter amounts, the remaining nutrient amounts were determined, expressed in relation to the initial amount. Non-linear models were fit to the values, choosing the best adjustment in each case. Biomass quantity, N and Ca contents and cycling of nutrient quantities was greatest in the intercropping straw. The decomposition and nutrient release speeds were also highest in millet - jack - bean intercropping straw.

nutrient recycling; litter bags; non-linear models; grass-legume intercropping

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