Development of maize and palisadegrass plants cultivated in intercrop under water deficit


Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia




The objective of this work was to evaluate the development and productive traits of palisadegrass single cultivated or intercropped with corn, in addition to corn intercropped with pasture, under water deficit at different development stages of the plants. It was used a complete block experimental design with split plots and three replicates. Periods of water deficit were placed in the plots and types of cultivation were placed in the subplots. Irrigation was stopped at germination and initial tillering of palisadegrass and at V4 and V15 stages of corn and returned when soil moisture was 40% of available water capacity. Tiller density and palisadegrass height were evaluated weekly. Dry matter (DM) of fractions of herbage mass as well as leaf area of the plants were evaluated at corn tasseling and when grains reached physiological maturity. Components of corn production were determined in the second sampling. In palisadegrass, water influenced only tillering, which was reduced in the plots in which water defict was forced at the moment of germination or at the beginning of tilering, in both cultivation systems. Plant height and DM production were affected only by cultivation, reducing when intercropped with corn. Evaluated production components did not influence corn grain productivity, which was similar in all treatments (average of 10,145 kg/ha). Palisadegrass plants produce more DM in single cultivation than intercropped with corn. Water deficit during germination and initial tillering reduces tillering of palisadegrass during establishment phase. Water deficit, applied in this trial, does not reduce DM yield in palisadegrass or corn.

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