Physical Attributes of the Soil and Maize Productivity Under an Intercrop System

  •  Paulo Ricardo Alves dos Santos    
  •  Carlos Alessandro Chioderoli    
  •  Alexsandro Oliveira da Silva    
  •  Francisca Edcarla de Araújo Nicolau    
  •  José Evanaldo Lima Lopes    
  •  Marcelo Queiroz Amorim    
  •  Clice de Araújo Mendonça    


The intensive use of agricultural areas for farming, together with inadequate management, can cause soil degradation and promote a low-quality environment for crops; An intercrop system of maize and forage can therefore be an alternative to existing production systems. The aim of this study was to identify the effect of intercropping maize with forage on the physical attributes of the soil and on productivity in maize, as a function of the sowing season and different forages, in the northeastern region of Brazil. A trial intercrop of maize with three forages (Brachiaria brizantha, Panicum maximum ‘Mombasa’, and Crotalaria spectabilis a.) was planted at two different times: phase 1-forage sown between the rows of maize, mixed with the basal dressing; and phase 2-forage sown between the rows, at the V4 stage in maize; in addition to maize with no intercrop (control). The trial was carried out in a randomised block design, with four replications. Forage Mombasa inserted in phase 1 (1) and phase (2) of sowing favored higher values of macroporosity in the layers 0.0-0.10 m and 0.10-0.20 m respectively. For the mass of 1000 grains and grain yield, there were no significant differences between the treatments when compared to the exclusive corn. It was concluded that the maize-forage intercrop promotes changes in the physical attributes of the soil (macroporosity, total porosity and density), and that maize productivity is not affected by the intercrop system.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.