Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Intercropping sorghum and grasses during off-season in Brazilian Cerrado

Sodré Filho, JoilsonMarchão, Robélio LeandroCarmona, RicardoCarvalho, Arminda Moreira de

ABSTRACT: Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) may be harmlessly intercropped with Urochloa species during the off-season in the Brazilian Cerrado. At the end of the sorghum cycle, forages can be used for straw production for soybean (Glycine max L.) as the summer crop. This study aimed to evaluate sorghum cultivated during the off-season, intercropped with palisade grass (Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu (Hochst. ex A. Rich). R. D. Webster) and Congo grass (Urochloa ruziziensis (R. Germ. and Evrard) Crins) in two row spacings (0.5 and 0.7 m) for their effect on plant growth, dry mass production, sorghum yield and soybean grain yield. The experiment was a randomized block design: a 3 × 2 factorial scheme, with three levels of intercropping (palisade grass, Congo grass or sole cropping) and two levels of row spacing (0.5 or 0.7 m) with four replicates. Several physiological growth indexes were estimated from 10 to 60 days after emergence (DAE), including dry matter production and sorghum agronomic performance. Sorghum accumulated 0.22 g of dry matter d1 at 10 to 60 DAE, and was not affected by intercropping. The dry mass gain of forages (0.04 g d1 on average) was not affected by sorghum either. Higher sorghum grain yield (2,922 kg ha1) was observed under the 0.5-m row spacing when compared to the 0.7-m spacing. The results indicate that palisade or Congo grass may be used as companion crops for sorghum with no grain yield loss, be it to improve soybean grain yield, soil cover or integrated crop systems, aiming at sustainable intensification.

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