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Agronomía Costarricense

Print version ISSN 0377-9424


ALVAREZ-SOLIS, José David; MUNOZ-ARROYO, Ramón; HUERTA-LWANGA, Esperanza  and  NAHED-TORAL, José. Partial nitrogen balance in the cropping system of corn (Zea mays L.) with leguminous cover in Chiapas, Mexico. Agron. Costarricense [online]. 2016, vol.40, n.1, pp.29-39. ISSN 0377-9424.

The potential of legumes to improve soil fertility and sustain the production of associated crops, such as maize, varies between species. In this work the contribution of 3 leguminous cover crops to the partial balance of N in the corn crop was evaluated. It was conducted in Ejido La Bella Ilusión, Maravilla Tenejapa, State of Chiapas, Mexico; there were 4 treatments in association to the corn crop: 1) velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens), 2) rice bean (Vigna umbellata), 3) common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), and 4) control without legumes. The biomass production and N content of the legumes and corn was measured. A partial balance of N, which considered the supply of N by the leguminous biomass and the extraction of N by the corn harvest, indicated that the dry biomass production was significantly (p≤0.05) higher in rice bean and velvet bean (1290 and 1139 kg.ha-1) than in the common bean (470 kg.ha-1), with total contents of 35.4; 25.7 and 8.9 kg.ha-1 N, respectively. The grain yield of corn was 2390.5 kg.ha-1; the extraction of N was higher in grain, followed by stubble, root, bractea and cob, with 20.9; 9.4; 7.2; 2.0 and 1.5 kg.ha-1N, respectively. The partial balance of N showed positive values with “rice” and “velvet” beans, which indicates their importance in compensating the N extraction by corn grain or ear.

Keywords : Cover crops; biological nitrogen fixation; supply of nitrogen; grain leguminous.

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