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Nutritional balance and yield for green manure orange trees/Balanco nutricional e produtividade em laranjeiras manejadas com adubacao verde.


Citriculture in Sao Paulo State, Brazil, is concentrated in regions of low fertility soils, as stated by DEMATTE & VITTI (1992), who detected medium-textured soils (clay content of 15%-35% at the soil surface) for 65% of the evaluated areas; sandy soils (clay content of up to 15%) for 30%, and clayish soils for approximately 5%. This has forced the producer to use external inputs to make the activity viable, increasing thus citrus production costs.

In the last few years, consumers, especially from the external market, have become increasingly interested in food security, particularly in production means. This has motivated the search for alternatives of low environmental impact, including the use of cover or green manure crops (SAN MARTIN MATHEIS, 2008).

Green fertilization consists in incorporating into the soil a non-decomposed mass of plants locally cultivated or imported in order to preserve and/or recover the productivity of cultivable lands. According to scientific studies and practical evidence, green manure acts on diverse soil fertility aspects by: increasing dry matter content; decreasing Al and Mn toxicity due to the high complexity and pH; promoting nutrient recycling; extracting and mobilizing nutrients from the deepest layers of the soil and subsoil, including Ca, Mg, K, P and micronutrients; extracting fixed phosphorus; and fixing atmospheric N symbiotically with Leguminosae (VON OSTERROHT, 2002).

Reasonable intercropping could lead crops and trees to completely use light, heat, water and nutrient resources, efficiently preventing water and soil losses and fertility reduction. The main interspecific relationships are facilitation and competition, which occur together in the intercropping system. When competition is higher than facilitation, intercropping is significant disadvantageous, whereas when competition is lower than facilitation, intercropping is considerably advantageous (ZHOU et al., 2009).

The current study aimed to evaluate, based on DRIS and on macro and micronutrient levels of green manure and control treatments, the nutritional balance and the yield of an orchard of orange trees 'Pera' with the introduction of green manure.


The present experiment was carried out at the farm "Tres Irmaos", Botucatu, Sao Paulo State, Brazil, located at 22[degrees]52'25.0"S and 48[degrees]37'50.3"W; 844m altitude. The climate in this region is classified as of Cwa type (MELLO et al., 1994). Annual average precipitation is 1445mm, annual average temperature, 21.0[degrees]C, and evapotranspiration, 700mm. The soil at the farm is sandy and excessively drained, containing small percentage of exchangeable bases and low saturation; which it is called Oxic Quartzipsamments (EMBRAPA, 1999).

According to the soil analyses carried out before the treatments, the crop lines had the following features: At 0-20cm depth, pH (Ca[Cl.sub.2]) 7.4; Organic Matter 12g [dm.sup.-3]; P 18mg [dm.sup.-3]; H+Al 14[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; K 0.4 mmol [dm.sup.-3]; Ca 40[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Mg 32[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Sum of bases 72[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Cation exchange capacity CEC 86[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Base saturation (V%) 84; B 0.20mg [dm.sup.-3]; Cu 0.7mg [dm.sup.-3]; Fe 20mg [dm.sup.-3]; Mn 1.3mg [dm.sup.-3]; Zn 0.8mg [dm.sup.-3]. At 40cm depth, pH (Ca[Cl.sub.2]) 5.0; Organic Matter 11g [dm.sup.-3]; P 6mg [dm.sup.-3]; H + Al 21[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; K 0.3[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Ca 16[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Mg 8[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Sum of bases 25[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Cation exchange capacity CEC 46[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Base saturation (V%) 54; B 0.13mg [dm.sup.-3]; Cu 0.6mg [dm.sup.-3]; Fe 31mg [dm.sup.-3]; Mn 1.3mg [dm.sup.-3]; Zn 0.8mg [dm.sup.-3].

Soil analyses carried out in the intercropping before the treatments revealed the following features: at 0-20cm depth, pH (Ca[Cl.sub.2]) 6.4; Organic Matter 13g [dm.sup.-3]; P 2mg [dm.sup.-3]; H + Al 16[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; K 0.3[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Ca 24[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Mg 13[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Sum of bases 37[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Cation exchange capacity CEC 53[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Base saturation (V%) 71; B 0.09mg [dm.sup.-3]; Cu 0.3mg [dm.sup.-3]; Fe 19mg [dm.sup.-3]; Mn 0.8mg [dm.sup.-3]; Zn 0.2mg [dm.sup.-3]. At 40cm depth, pH (Ca[Cl.sub.2]) 5.1; Organic Matter 8g [dm.sup.-3]; P 1mg [dm.sup.-3]; H + Al 16[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; K 0.2[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Ca 14[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Mg 4[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Sum of bases 18[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Cation exchange capacity CEC 34[mmol.sub.c] [dm.sup.-3]; Base saturation (V%) 53; B 0.09mg [dm.sup.-3]; Cu 0.3mg [dm.sup.-3]; Fe 24mg [dm.sup.-3]; Mn 0.6mg [dm.sup.-3]; Zn 0.1mg [dm.sup.-3].

The crown cultivar was the orange tree 'Pera' (Citrus sinensis, Osbeck) grafted on 'Rangpur' lime (Citrus limonia, Osbeck). The commercial orchard was spaced 7 m apart between rows and 4m apart between plants and was established in October 1996.

The adopted green manure was jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis DC), lablab (Dolichos lablab L.), pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan L. Millsp), and Brachiaria (Brachiaria brizantha Hochst ex A. Rich. Stapf) and cultivar Piata as control. At fifteen days after Brachiaria mowing, 3L ha-1 glyphosate (Roundup) was applied onto the areas previously planted with green manure. In December 2004 (1st year) and December 2005 (2nd year), such soil-protector crops were directly planted. During planting, both green manure and control treatments received 40kg [ha.sup.-1] [P.sub.2][O.sub.5] as simple superphosphate.

Green manure treatments--Treatment 1: Jack Bean (JB); Treatment 2: Pigeon Pea (PP); and Treatment 3: Lablab (LL)--were sown on six rows spaced 50cm apart from the orange tree crown projection. The number of seeds per linear meter for JB, PP and LL was 3, 20 and 10, respectively, which corresponds to approximately 80, 25 and 50kg seeds per ha, proportionally to the viable area.

Harvest occurred during full flowering and beginning of legume formation, at approximately 120 days after sowing. The obtained biomass from both Leguminosae and Brachiaria was rubbed and sent to the plant rows. Experimental design was in randomized blocks, in split-plot in time, with six replicates, four treatments and two plants per evaluation totaling 24 plots, from which two plants were used for the tests while the others remained as border treatments (ROSSETTI, 2002). The plots were represented by four green manure treatments and the split plots by the two evaluated crop cycles (years). Each plot was composed of four plant rows spaced 7m apart and each row had four plants spaced 4m apart, occupying 252 [m.sup.2]. Analyses of variance were performed and when there was significance Tukey's test (P < 0.05) was employed.

Samples of three and four leaves were collected at the beginning of fruiting (25 leaves per sampling), in spring sprouting. The samples were prepared and analyzed according to MALAVOLTA et al. (1998). A chemical analysis of the plants was carried out before the establishment of the experiment (Table 1). Nutrient content was also chemically analyzed according to MALAVOLTA et al. (1998). Results of leaf chemical analysis were subjected to DRIS (BEAUFILLS, 1973), a system that is based on the relationships among nutrients and that has as work unity parameters known as nutritional indexes which are determined by mathematical equations based on prefixed patterns, which in turn are used for a new leaf analysis. The nutritional balance index (NBI) is obtained based on the sum of the absolute values of all nutritional indexes for each treatment. Thus, in the present study, interpretation of leaf results for the different adopted treatments was carried out by using the DRIS method as per the norms developed by CRESTE & NAKAGAWA (1997) for the lemon; since the experiment was located in the same farm, it was adopted as reference to compare. The yield was determined according to the total weight of fruits per plant and was expressed as kg.


In general, N and P levels met the demands of plants and did not present any significant variation among treatments; however, there was slightly higher relative deficiency in the second year, compared to the first year of evaluation. K was one of the most limiting nutrients; it was observed in all deficient treatments and did not meet the demands of plants. Such deficiency probably resulted from the use of a formula with N/K ratio of 2/1. From a nutritional point of view, calcium levels were close to equilibrium, but in slight relative excess, for all treatments (Tables 2 and 3).

All treatments showed relative Mg excess, which was compatible with the interpretation of QUAGGIO et al. (1996) and corroborated the reports of VITTI et al. (1996), suggesting soil Ca/Mg ratio of 4/1 for citrus plants. Treatments also showed relative S excess, which can be explained by the intense utilization of S-based acaricides.

Two interesting extremes were observed for the nutrient B. In the first year, its relative deficiency was rather clear. In the second year, however, there was a relative excess, although B was not applied via the soil. This can be explained by the effect of green manure on micronutrient extraction and mobilization at deeper soil and subsoil layers, as stated by VON OSTERROHT (2002). All treatments tended to show relative Cu excess in the first year, which in the second year changed to slight relative deficiency.

Fe levels were close to adequate. As already discussed, there was intense Mg deficiency in the first year, which was assuaged afterwards maybe by the efficient leaf fertilization employed. Zn was another main element diagnosed as deficient, indicating the need of specific and immediate actions, including increased levels, different formulations and larger number of applications.

Based on the lowest nutritional index values obtained by DRIS, treatments that showed the best nutritional relationship were PP, JB, LL, in the two years (Tables 2 and 3). This indicates that Leguminosae can provide a more appropriate nutritional relationship. The lower the NBI, the better the nutritional status, according to CRESTE (2008).

There was not significant interaction between the crop cycles (years) and the treatments (green manure). The mean levels of leaf nutrients in both crop cycles are shown in table 4. Green manure treatments presented higher levels of nutrients N, Ca, B, Fe and Zn, compared to BQ treatment (Table 4), corroborating the results of WEBER & PASSOS (1991), who reported that the nutrient levels of Brachiaria, among other natural Gramineae of citrus orchard, are lower than those of Leguminosae.

SILVA et al. (2002) evaluated green manure production and nutrients incorporated into the soil by intercropping Crotalaria juncea, Crotalaria spectabilis, Cajanus cajan, Mucuna aterrima, Mucuna deeringiana, Dolichos labe-labe and Canavalia ensiformis in an orchard of 'Pera' (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck), grafted on Cleopatra mandarin (Citrus reshi Hort.). The average crop dry matter for the cultivated species in the four years of study was: 6.55, 1.23, 3.42, 1.78, 1.75, 1.61 and 3.03t [ha.sup.-1], respectively. Chemical analysis of the material revealed considerable incorporation of N, [P.sub.2][O.sub.5], [K.sub.2]O, Ca, Mg, S, B, Fe, Mn and Zn by leguminous plants. C. juncea had the highest biomass production and nutrient incorporation, followed by C. cajan and C. ensiformis.

There was significant interaction between the crop cycles and the green manure treatments for the yield (Table 5). Pigeon pea enhanced the yield in both crop cycles when compared to the other treatments. Increased productivity using these green manure treatments (Table 5) resulted from the decomposition of such organic matter, which is richer in nutrients than the control (BQ), since all plant material was rubbed and sent to the orange tree rows. Pigeon pea enhanced the yield by 34.4% (2005 crop cycle) and 47.4% (2006 crop cycle), compared to control (Brachiaria brizantha).


Plants treated with green manure showed better nutritional balance index than plants treated with Brachiaria brizantha Hochst ex A. Rich. Stapf. Pigeon pea is indicated as green manure to be used between rows of orange trees 'Pera'.


BEAUFILS, E.R. Diagnosis and recommendation integrated system (DRIS); a general scheme for experimentation and calibration based on principles develop from research in plant nutrition. Soil Science Bulletin, Pochvovedenie, v.1, p.1-132, 1973. Available from: < mus.htm>. Accessed: Jan. 2008.

CRESTE, J.E.; NAKAGAWA, J. Estabelecimento do metodo DRIS para a cultura do limoeiro em funcao da analise foliar. I--Calculo das normas. Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura, Cruz das Almas, v.19, n.3, p.245-256, 1997.

CRESTE, J.E. Perspectivas do DRIS em culturas de alta produtividade. In: PRADO, R.M.; ROZANE, D. E. et al. Nutricao de plantas--diagnose foliar em grandes culturas. Jaboticabal: Santa Terezinha, 2008. p.83-105. Available from: <http://www. Palestras_1simposio/perspectivasd>. Accessed: Feb. 2009.

DEMATTE, J. L.; VITTI, G. C. Alguns aspectos relacionados ao manejo de solos para os citros. In: SEMINARIO INTERNACIONAL DE CITROS, 2., 1992, Bebedouro, SP. Anais ... Campinas: FUNDACAO CARGILL, 1992. V.1, p.69-99.

EMBRAPA. Sistema brasileiro de classificacao de solos. Brasilia: EMBRAPA, 1999. 412p.

MALAVOLTA, E. et al. Avaliacao do estado nutricional das plantas: principios e aplicacoes. Piracicaba: Potafos, 1998. 319p.

MELLO, M.H. de A. et al. Hidrologia, climatologia e agrometeorologia. In: BERTOLINI, D. et al. Potencialidades agricolas das terras do Estado de Sao Paulo. Campinas: CATI, 1994. p.1-69.

QUAGGIO, J.A. et al. Frutiferas. Campinas: Instituto Agronomico, 1996. 285p. (Boletim Tecnico, 100).

ROSSETTI, A.G. Influencia da area da parcela e do numero de repeticoes na precisao de experimentos com arboreas. Pesquisa Agropecuaria Brasileira, Brasilia, DF, v.37, n.4, p.433-438, 2002.

SAN MARTIN MATHEIS, H.A. Uso continuo de coberturas vegetais em citros: influencia no banco de sementes, na comunidade infestante e nas caracteristicas quimicas do solo. 2008. 96f. Tese (Doutorado em Fitotecnia) - Programa de Posgraduacao em Fitotecnia, Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz, Universidade de Sao Paulo, SP. Available from: <http:// lonso+San+Martin+Matheis&meta=&>. Accessed: Nov. 2008.

SILVA, J.A.A. da et al. Reciclagem e incorporacao de nutrientes ao solo pelo cultivo intercalar de adubos verdes em pomar de laranjeira 'Pera'. Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura, Jaboticabal SP, v.24, n.1, p.225-230, 2002. Available from: < scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S010029452002000100048&l ng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng doi: 10.1590/S0100-29452002000100048>. Accessed: Dec. 2008.

VITTI, G.C. et al. Tecnicas de utilizacao de calcario e gesso na cultura dos citros. In: SEMINARIO INTERNACIONAL DE CITROS - NUTRICAO E ADUBACAO, 4., 1996, Bebedouro, SP. Anais ... Campinas: FUNDACAO CARGILL, 1996. p.131-160.

VON OSTERROHT, M. O que e uma adubacao verde: principios e acoes. Agroecologia Hoje, Botucatu, n.14, p.9-11, 2002. Available from: <>. Accessed: Dec. 2008.

WEBER, O. B.; PASSOS, O. S. Adubacao verde: aspectos relacionados a citricultura. Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura, Cruz das Almas, v. 13, n. 4, p. 295-303, out. 1991.

ZHOU, W.J. et al. Plant phosphorus uptake in a soybean-citrus intercropping system in the red soil Hilly region of South China. Pedosphere, Nanjing, v.19, n.2, p.244-250, 2009. Available from: <2945200200001000048&1ng=pt&nrm=iso&tlngdoi:10.1590/ S0100-2945200200200001000048>. Accessed: Dec. 2008.

Carlos Renato Alves Ragozo (I) Sarita Leonel (II) Marco Antonio Tecchio (III)

(I) Consultor em citros, Botucatu, SP, Brasil.

(II) Departamento de Horticultura, Faculdade de Ciencias Agronomicas (FCA), Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Rua Jose Barbosa de Barros, 1780, 18610-307, Botucatu. SP. Brasil. E-mail: *Autor para correspondencia.

Received 03.26.13

Approved 10.28.13

Returned by the author 01.28.14 CR-2013-0411.R3
Table 1-Results of leaf chemical analysis before
treatments. 2005 and 2006.

N    P     K    Ca   Mg    S

g [kg.sup.-1]

26   1.5   11   42   4.9   3.6

B    Cu    Fe    Mn   Zn

mg [kg.sup.-1]

56   103   136   9    25

Table 2-Leaf diagnosis using diagnosis and recommendation integrated
system (DRIS) in the first experimental year (2005). FCA/UNESP/
Botucatu. 2005 and 2006.

Treatment    [I.sub.N]   [I.sub.P]   [I.sub.K]   [I.sub.Ca]

Jack Bean       0.1         0.1        -1.5         0.6
Pigeon Pea      0.1        -0.2        -0.4         0.7
Lablab          0.1        -0.3        -1.1         0.7
Brachiaria      0.1        -0.2        -2.9         0.7
CV (%)

Treatment    [I.sub.Mg]   [I.sub.S]   [I.sub.B]   [I.sub.Cu]

Jack Bean       0.8          1.2        -0.2         0.6
Pigeon Pea      0.9          1.3        -0.3         0.8
Lablab          0.7          1.3        -0.4         0.6
Brachiaria      2.7          1.3        -0.4         0.6
CV (%)

Treatment    [I.sub.Fe]   [I.sub.Mn]   [I.sub.Zn]

Jack Bean       0.1          -0.7         -0.9
Pigeon Pea      0.3          -0.9         -1.0
Lablab          0.1          -1.0         -1.2
Brachiaria      0.1          -0.7         -1.0
CV (%)

Treatment    [I.sub.MS]    NBI

Jack Bean       0.7       7.5 A
Pigeon Pea      0.6       8.5 A
Lablab          0.5       9.0 A
Brachiaria      0.6       11.3 B
DMS                        2.18
CV (%)                    10.54

NBI = Nutritional Balance Index.

Means followed by the same letter in the column are not statistically
different according to Tukey's test at 5% significance.

Table 3-Leaf diagnosis using diagnosis and recommendation integrated
system (DRIS) in the second experimental year (2006). FCA/UNESP/
Botucatu. 2005 and 2006.

Treatment    [I.sub.N]   [I.sub.P]   [I.sub.K]   [I.sub.Ca]

Jack Bean      -0.6        -0.8        -1.1         0.7
Pigeon Pea     -0.9        -0.5        -1.2         0.7
Lablab         -0.7        -0.5        -0.8         0.5
Brachiaria     -0.8        -0.5        -1.6         0.7
CV (%)

Treatment    [I.sub.Mg]   [I.sub.S]   [I.sub.B]   [I.sub.Cu]

Jack Bean       1.7          0.9         0.8         -0.5
Pigeon Pea      1.9          0.9         0.7         -0.3
Lablab          1.6          0.9         0.9         -0.4
Brachiaria      1.9          0.8         1.0         -0.5
CV (%)

Treatment    [I.sub.Fe]   [I.sub.Mn]   [I.sub.Zn]

Jack Bean       0.4          -0.3         -1.1
Pigeon Pea      0.6          -0.2         -1.1
Lablab          0.6          -0.3         -1.6
Brachiaria      0.4          -0.3         -1.7
CV (%)

Treatment    [I.sub.MS]   [NBI]

Jack Bean       0.6       9,5 A
Pigeon Pea      0.7       9,7 A
Lablab          0.5       9,3 A
Brachiaria      0.5       10,7 B
DMS                        0.82
CV (%)                    17.41

NBI = Nutritional Balance Index.

Means followed by the same letter in the column are not statistically
different according to Tukey's test at 5% significance.

Table 4-Macro and micronutrient mean levels of four different
treatments over two experimental years. FCA/UNESP/Botucatu. 2005 and

               N      P      K      Ca     Mg     S

                                g [kg.sup.-1]

Jack Bean     28A    2.1A   9A     15A    6A     3A
Pigeon Pea    27A    2.2A   10A    13A    6A     3A
Lablab        25A    2.1A   9A     13A    7A     3A
Brachiaria    14B    2A     9A     7B     8A     3A
DMS           6.22   0.36   1.94   5.46   2.97   0.21
CV 1 (%)      14.5   12.5   13.4   18.5   17.2   21.0
CV 2 (%)      15.2   11.5   10.5   16.3   12.5   13.6

                B      Cu     Fe      Mn      Zn

                          mg [kg.sup.-1]

Jack Bean     28A     9A     283A    31A     31A
Pigeon Pea    29A     11A    314A    30A     32A
Lablab        35A     9A     325A    42A     38A
Brachiaria    14B     7A     204B    39A     23B
DMS           10.72   3.21   64.52   13.52   7.74
CV 1 (%)      17.4    14.6   12.5    19.4    21.8
CV 2 (%)      10.2    9.5    10.6    11.6    18.5

Means followed by the same letter in the column are not statistically
different according to Tukey's test at 5% significance.

Table 5//Mean production (kg [plant.sup./1]) of orange trees subjected
to four different treatments over two experimental years. FCA/UNESP/
Botucatu. 2005 and 2006.


Year              Jack Bean    Pigeon Pea        Lablab

2005              91.8Aa       125.9Ba           94.6Aa
2006              103.4Ab      145.2Bb           115.0Ab
DMS Year          9.84         16.39             13.87
CV 1 (%) = 37.0                CV 2 (%) = 41.3


Year              Brachiaria   DMS treat.

2005              93.7Aa       12.24
2006              98.5Aa       22.51
DMS Year          6.54
CV 1 (%) = 37.0

Means followed by the same letter in the same line and column are not
statistically different according to Tukey's test at 5% significance.
Uppercase letters = treatments; Lowercase letters = years.
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Author:Ragozo, Carlos Renato Alves; Leonel, Sarita; Tecchio, Marco Antonio
Publication:Ciencia Rural
Date:Apr 1, 2014
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