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Agricultura Técnica

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OVALLE M, Carlos et al. Cover Crops in Organic Raspberry Production: Effects on Soil Nutrient Content, and Raspberry Growth and Yield . Agric. Téc. [online]. 2007, vol.67, n.3, pp.271-280. ISSN 0365-2807.

A study of the evaluation and selection of cover crops to improve soil management in an organic orchard of raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) was carried out. The evaluated cover crops were: a mixture of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) and balansa clover (T. michelianum Savi), birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.), white clover (T. repens L.), fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), a mixture of white clover and fescue, and a control without vegetation. The trial was conducted in Chillán, Chile (36°37’ S, 72°00’ W), during two seasons. The experimental design was randomized blocks with four replicates. Planting distance between raspberry rows was 3 m, and each experimental plot was 60 m2. Covers that included white clover as a single species and white clover in mixture with tall fescue had the highest plant density (828 and 1788 plant m-2, in the second year, respectively), biomass (9.3 and 10.4 t DM ha-1 yr-1, in the second year, respectively) and specific contribution of the sown species (more than 90% contribution of sown species). Mixture of annual species did not have a good performance, particularly during the second season. A clear effect of the covers on soil content of nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) was found; however, soil organic matter content and pH were not affected. Weed growth was best controlled by the cover crops that included fescue and/or white clover.

Keywords : Rubus idaeus; Trifolium repens; Trifolium michelianum; Trifolium subterraneum; Lotus corniculatus; Festuca arundinacea; Rubus idaeus; Trifolium repens; Trifolium michelianum; Trifolium subterraneum; Lotus corniculatus; Festuca arundinacea.

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