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Idesia (Arica)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-3429


BARRIOS-MAESTRE, Renny; FARINAS, José; SILVA-ACUNA, Ramón  y  SANABRIA, Damelys. Behavior of five species of legume as cover crop in oil palm in Monagas State, Venezuela. Idesia [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.2, pp.29-37. ISSN 0718-3429.

ABSTRACT For palm oil plantations, traditionally the legume Pueraria phaseoloides has been used as cover crop, to promote the biological fixation of nitrogen, to control weeds, to supply organic matter and to reduce the erosion. When this legume develops, it competes with the crop and the efficiency of cover is lost. This study was carried out in the Experimental Field of the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agricolas Monagas, on a palm oil plantation of the genetic material Deli x Mobai aged six months. Four species of promissory legumes were evaluated as cover crop: Stylosanthes capitata CIAT 10280, Centrosema rotundifolium CIAT 5260, Arachis pintoi CIAT 18748, Desmodium ovalifolium CIAT 23665 were compared with Pueraria phaseoloides, in a design of random blocks with four repetitions. Per square meter, the height of the legume, dry matter production at 180 days after sowing and a cover index of soil were quantified. The results indicate that the cover index was improved by soil humidity. P. phaseoloides presented the fastest establishment and competed efficiently with the complex of weeds. A. pintoi showed better growth under conditions of good soil humidity and tended to develop better in places with low solar incidence. S. capitata and C. rotundifolium presented low competitive capacity against the weeds. D. ovalifolium showed a high and stable cover index still under conditions of water stress and represents the best alternative of cover crop in oil palm under the local conditions.

Palabras clave : Soil management; cover index; weed control; Pueraria; Desmodium; Arachis.

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