28. Evaluation of intercropping cassava/corn/beans (phaseolus vulgaris l.) In northeast Brazil.
J. Agronomy & Crop Science, 167, 1991, pp. 207-212
The objective of the study was to test different sole and intercropping systems with cassava, corn, and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) at two technological levels: traditional and one considered improved with use of fertilizer (N, P, K).
The treatments were repeated four times in a randomized block design in a factorial arrangement, with and without application of fertilizer (at rates of 50 N, 20 P205 and 30 K20 kg/ha at planting).
The soil was prepared by tractor in ridges 1 m apart.
Yield and yield components were taken in all crops.
All the data were analyzed statistically. The crops were adequately protected from insect pests, diseases and weed infestation.
The Northeast Region of Brazil grows 51% of the country's cassava, the greatest amount being produced in the region with an average annual rainfall of 650-1000 mm.
Intercropping is a major farming system in Northeast Brazil. Cassava is grown in two or three associations, probably to reduce the risk of harvest loss by a prolonged absence of rain and to improve the intensive use of a small area and family labor force. It is usually intercropped with beans and corn, and sometimes with cotton, rice, tobacco, coco palm, rubber trees, and Opuntia sp. (forage cactus). In the typical multiple cropping association in this area, advanced agricultural practices such as selected cultivars, pest and disease control, and the use of fertilizer, are not used.
Yields of beans were not affected by either intercropping systems or fertilization. Yields of corn and cassava were affected by intercropping systems, fertilizer, and cropping systems x fertilizer interaction. LER values were significantly different among cropping systems.
Growing three crops together was considered more attractive to the small farmers. Besides the greater advantage regarding the land use, this cropping system would have greater income and give different kind of nutrients to the farmers.
The use of fertilizer did not significantly enhance the advantage of intercropping when analyzed through LER. This indicates that the advantage of intercropping is not improved by the addition of nutrients.
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