Accumulation and apparent recovery of N, P and K after the incorporation of gliricidia and manure in intercropping during the cultivation of corn–cowpea–cotton
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Fertilization with manure is widely adopted by farmers in the semiarid region of northeastern Brazil, although the quantity of available manure is limited. Thus, among other alternatives, gliricidia has been used as an additional source of organic fertilizer. The objective of this study was to evaluate the accumulation and apparent recovery of N, P and K after using different forms of gliricidia and manure application in the intercropping of corn, cowpea and cotton in three crop cycles in the semi-arid northeast region of Brazil. The following treatments were used: gliricidia incorporated into the soil before planting; gliricidia spread on the surface of the soil at 45 days after planting; manure and gliricidia incorporated into the soil before planting; manure incorporated into the soil before planting and gliricidia spread on the surface of the soil at 45 days after planting; manure incorporated into the soil before planting; and no addition of organic fertilizer (control). Accumulations followed the same pattern as biomass production but differed greatly from the concentrations. Low apparent recoveries were obtained in the first and second cycles, and high apparent recoveries were obtained in the third cycle. The nutrient balances indicated that the incorporation of gliricidia before planting or spread on the surface does not meet crop needs. The incorporation of manure as well as manure and gliricidia when applied on the surface, were able to meet growth needs and maintain soil fertility.
KeywordsOrganic fertilization Nutrient balances Family farming Semiarid northeastern Brazil Sustainable agriculture
Funding was provided by CNPq (Grant No. ID0EQGAE935).
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