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Productivity, soil quality and microclimate aspects in agroforestry coffee and macaúbas systems

terça-feira, junho 25, 2019

Author: Moreira, Sandro Lucio Silva

Abstract: Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee. However, climate changes predicted, associated with increase in air temperature and decrease in water availability, along with inadequate agricultural practices can lead to reduce coffee yield, with serious and potential impacts on national coffee production. Moreover, the use of agroforestry systems (AFS) has been emphasized as a strategy to minimize the effects of climate change on coffee crop, and to contribute to the improvement of soil quality and to assure a more stable income to the farmer. On the other hand, macaúba trees (Acrocomia aculeata) have stimulated interest for being a native palm tree from typically Brazilian rainforests, providing different products to the farmer, as they still have great potential to be used as biofuel. 

Using these palm trees in agroforestry systems requires a good understanding of the interactions between them with the coffee crop in order to establish, among other variables, the ideal spacing between the two species as well as the density planting of Macaúba trees, with the purpose to achieve a balance between environmental gains and at least maintaining the coffee yield in satisfactory economic levels. Considering the above, this study aimed to evaluate, under field conditions, the influence of Macaúbas planting on productivity, microclimatic aspects and soil physical quality of an area under coffee crop located in the Zona da Mata in Minas Gerais State. Thus, soil moisture and temperature, air temperature, and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) in different seasons in the selected SAF were carried out, besides the characterization of soil physical quality, and quantification of the productivity and coffee crop yield. It was observed that the SAF changed the microclimate of the coffee crop, causing the greatest effect on the maximum air temperatures, global RFA, as well as their availability. The planting density of macaúbas trees and their distance related to coffee in intercropping system affect the thermo-hydric regime of the soil. 

The AFS of coffee associated with macaúba trees provides higher yield in processed coffee, as well as provides increase in productivity of the coffee crop when maintaining a 4.2 m distance from Macaúbas. Planting density of macaúba trees did not affect yield and productivity of coffee crop. Considering all the variables, the highest coffee crop yield were related to soil moisture ranging in 20-40 cm soil layer, global RFA availability and maximum air temperatures lower than 30 °C.

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Page: Locus UFV

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