M.A.C. Mouco, D.J. Silva, V. Giongo , A.M.S. Mendes
Continuous and intensive use of the soils of the Lower-Middle São Francisco River Valley (Vale do Submédio São Francisco) through the growing of mango trees in irrigated systems has caused soil degradation and consequently threatened the quality and sustainability of this agribusiness activity in the region. The predominant soil cover in this region has a sandy texture and low organic matter content and water retention capability, which are further compromised by high temperatures and insolation which cause serious restrictions to agricultural productivity when associated with inadequate irrigation management. The aim of this paper was to study crop systems (green manures) used as cover crops and green manure in the establishment of a ‘Kent’ mango tree orchard by means of quantification and mineral composition of the plant matter resulting from each one of the formative prunings. The leguminous plants used in the intercropped plant mixture were: Calopogonium mucunoide Desv., Crotalaria juncea L., Crotalaria spectabilis Roth., Canavalia ensiformes DC., Cajanus cajan L., Dolichos lablab L., Mucuna aterrina L., and Mucuna conchinchinensis L. The mixture also included non-leguminous species, such as: Sesamum indium L., Chysantemum peruviamum maius, Ricinus communis L., Penissetum americanum L. and Sorghum vulgare Pers. Three plants per plot in four replications were used for evaluations. The mean value of fresh matter production resulting from each one of the four prunings of establishment of the orchard showed that the intercropped plant species mixture with 75% leguminous plants and 25% non-leguminous plants increased plant vigor. Increases were 16.6, 19.7, 45.1 and 23.9% at pruning 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively, when compared to the treatment of spontaneous vegetation without soil turnover. Significant differences were observed between the treatments in relation to total content of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium in the leaves and accumulated branches at the end of the formative prunings of the plants. The use of intercropped plant species mixtures allows the orchard establishment period to be shortened, which makes it possible to advance the time for beginning management of flower induction and production of mango trees of the ‘Kent’ cultivar.
Mouco, M.A.C., Silva, D.J., Giongo , V. and Mendes, A.M.S. (2015). GREEN MANURES IN 'KENT' MANGO ORCHARD. Acta Hortic. 1075, 179-184
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1075.20
formative pruning, orchard establishment, irrigation, organic matter

Acta Horticulturae