La vicia villosa como cultivo de cobertura : efectos de corto plazo sobre el suelo y la productividad del maíz bajo riego en el valle bonaerense del Río Colorado
Vanzolini, Juan Ignacio
DirectorGalantini, Juan Alberto
Palabras claveCultivos de cobertura; Suelos; Productividad; Maíz
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In the irrigated area of the Colorado River Valley (CRV), located in Villarino and Patagones, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, soil organic matter (OM) levels are low (1-2%). Nitrogen (N) is the most frequent limiting nutrient. Irrigation benefits a variety of production alternatives. Nitrogen hand-ling, in any of these options, usually happens to be a difficulty that is overcome over fertilizing cultivation. Although the re-gion soil is sensitive to wind erosion, many times is kept free of weeds during the fallow period through tillage or the application of agrochemicals. The use of hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) as cover crops (CC) in the CRV irrigated area previous to cash crops can be a feasible alternative to shor-ten the fallow period as well as it can make improvement in the physical and chemical soil conditions for future crops. This change in the edaphic conditions would mean a greater effi-ciency of resources such as water and fertilizers. In order to study both vetch dry matter (DM) production capacity and N fixation, as well as its effect on the following corn crop and on soil, two cycles of field plots were made between 2006 and 2008. Fieldwork was made in EEA INTA H. Ascasubi, Villa-rino, province of Buenos Aires (39 22‟ S, 62 39‟ W). There were used pure hairy vetch (dried in different moments) and oats crops (Avena Sativa L.) and a fallow plot as a reference treatment. The two-week delay in the drying, increased vetch production by 3.6 Mg DM ha -1 and N content by 126 Kg N ha-1. Moreover, as a result of the use of vetch as prede-cessor, there was a significant increase in N availability in corn soil at seeding time, which reached 120 Kg N ha-1. This increase resulted in better conditions for the corn crop pro-ductivity, which showed higher yields (2 Mg ha-1) with vetch as predecessor. Vetch CC improved Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUEg) for grain production compared to the reference. Addi-tionally, it was found some changes in the soil pH, up to 1.5 units after 120 days of incubation, depending to the initial soil pH, soil organic carbon content and to the residue applica-tion. The addition of residues resulted in an increment of extractable phosphorus, proving the effect of pH change in the dynamics of P on the ground.