Agro-economic performance of the association of beet with green cowpea in different amounts of hairy woodrose

ABSTRACT Intercropping systems of beet and green cowpea are beginning to be implemented in the northeastern semi-arid region in Brazil. The great challenge is to know if there is agro-economic efficiency in these systems when fertilized with organic matter produced by spontaneous species of the Caatinga biome. Thus, the objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of green manuring using different amounts of hairy woodrose (Merremia aegyptia) in the association of beet with green cowpea under the semi-arid conditions. The experiment was carried out at the Rafael Fernandes Experimental Farm, rural area of Mossoró, RN, Brazil, in the period of September-December 2015, in a randomized complete block design with four treatments and five replicates. The treatments consisted of hairy woodrose amounts incorporated into the soil (10, 25, 40, 55 t ha-1 on a dry basis). The cultivars of beet and green cowpea planted were ‘Early Wonder’ and ‘BRS Itaim’, recommended for the semi-arid conditions of the Brazilian Northeast. The best agro-economic performance for intercropping system of beet and green cowpea was obtained with 55 t ha-1 of hairy woodrose incorporated in the soil. The use of the hairy woodrose species as green manure is agronomically viable in intercropped systems with beet and green cowpea.