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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 75 No. 1, p. 39-45
    Received: Apr 26, 1982

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Mulching and Green Manure Applications for Continuous Crop Production in the Amazon Basin1

  1. M. K. Wade and
  2. P. A. Sanchez2



Kudzu (Pueraria phaseoloides) and guineagrass (Panicum maximum) cuttings were each used as mulch or incorporated as green manures under three fertilizer treatments in a Typic Paleudult soil at Yurimaguas, Peru to evaluate their potential as organic additions for continuous crop production in the Amazon Basin. Mulching with guineagrass decreased topsoil temperatures by 5 C prior to the establishment of a crop canopy, conserved soil moisture in the top 5 cm during dry weather, prevented surface crusting and decreased weed growth. Mulching had. little effect in increasing the availability of N, K, Ca, and Mg. The use of mulches without chemical inputs produced an average of 75% of the crop yields achieved with completely fertilized, bare plots. For five consecutive crops, incorporating kudzu at the rate of 8 tons fresh material/ha/crop produced yields which were 90% of the crops receiving complete inorganic fertilization and liming. Guineagrass incorporation was also beneficial but generally less so than kudzu. The beneficial effects of incorporating kudzu as green manure were associated with the amounts of N, P, K, Ca, and Mg released from the decomposing material, decreased AI saturation, and possibly enhanced nutrient accumulation due to less moisture stress and lower hulk density. No response to organic additions were found when recommended amounts of lime and fertilizers were supplied.

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