African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576

Full Length Research Paper

Soil properties and tomato agronomic attributes in no-tillage in rotation with cover crops

Roberto Botelho Ferraz Branco
  • Roberto Botelho Ferraz Branco
  • Agency Paulista Agribusiness Technology, APTA, 14030-670 Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo (SP) - Brazil.
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Denizart Bolonhezi
  • Denizart Bolonhezi
  • Agency Paulista Agribusiness Technology, APTA, 14030-670 Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo (SP) - Brazil.
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Fernando André Salles
  • Fernando André Salles
  • Agency Paulista Agribusiness Technology, APTA, 14030-670 Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo (SP) - Brazil.
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Geraldo Balieiro
  • Geraldo Balieiro
  • Agency Paulista Agribusiness Technology, APTA, 14030-670 Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo (SP) - Brazil.
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Eduardo Suguino
  • Eduardo Suguino
  • Agency Paulista Agribusiness Technology, APTA, 14030-670 Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo (SP) - Brazil.
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Walter Seiti Minami
  • Walter Seiti Minami
  • Moura Lacerda University Center, 14085-420 Ribeirão Preto, SP - Brazil.
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Ely Nahas
  • Ely Nahas
  • Department of Microbiology, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), 14884-900 Jaboticabal, SP - Brazil.
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  •  Accepted: 23 May 2012
  •  Published: 31 January 2013

Abstract

 

Cover crops associated with no-tillage improves soil fertility by the production of mulch on the soil surface. This experiment was conducted in 2008 and 2009 to evaluate the potential of different cover crops grown in rotation with tomato in no-tillage in the soil and agronomic attributes of tomato. The treatments were velvetbeans (Mucuna deeringiana [Bort] Merr.), sunn hemp (Crotalaria junceae L.), pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum Leeke), fallow with free growth of weed, and maize crop in conventional tillage as control. Shoot dry biomass of the cover crop, weed establishment, concentration of the nutrient in tomato leaves, fertility and microbiology of soil and tomato yield were evaluated. Maize had the greatest shoot dry mass yield, but it was incorporated into the soil by tillage, being the control treatment. Regarding the crops for which the residue remained on the soil surface, millet and sunn hemp were the most productive. Millet and sunn hemp, as well as corn in tillage, were the most efficient in the suppression of the weed establishment in the tomato crop. Sunn hemp increased potassium content and nitrification activity of the soil nitrate. Tomato yield was higher when grown on straw of sunn hemp.

 

Key words: Lycopersicon esculentum Mill., weeds, soil microbiology, soil fertility, leaf nutrient.