The use of plant species as soil cover has been used in agriculture, due to the concern on the degradation process of Brazilian soils. Other advantages include soil protection against climatic agents causing erosion, the control of spontaneous plants and the increase of the availability of nutrients linked to the organic matter supplied to the soil. The leguminous plants have been more used to establish symbiotic association with bacteria fixing nitrogen and recovery of leached nitrogen from the deeper layers of the soil, resulting in the contribution of expressive amounts of this nutrient to crops planted in a consortium. The maintenance of vegetal cover on the soil in the cultivation area possibly reduces nutrients losses by leaching, due to its greater capacity of absorption and exploitation of greater area of the root system. However, little is known about the effects of soil cover management on of peach palm plants cultivation in Vale do Ribeira region. This work aim to evaluate the effects of soil cover management on development and production of peach palm plants. The treatments will consist by seven soil cover management systems: T1: Crotalaria breviflora; T2: Crotalaria spectabilis; T3: Cajanus cajan; T4: Canavalis ensiformis; T5: management of spontaneous plants with mowing; T6: control of spontaneous plants with herbicide applications; T7: Plastic mulching and management of spontaneous plants with mowing. The plant spacing of the peach palm plants will be 2.0 m x 1.0 m (5,000 ha-1). The experimental design will be in randomized blocks, with seven treatments and four replications, with each ten useful peach palm plants per plot. The development, production, soil chemical attributes, nutritional state of peach palm plants and soil cover.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: