Crop rotation, green manure and nitrogen fertilizers in upland rice under no-tillage

ABSTRACT The Brazilian Savannah region presents a great potential for the expansion of upland rice crops. However, studies are necessary to identify practices that can improve the crop performance, especially in no-tillage systems. This study aimed to assess the effect of cover crops in association with corn on the development and yield of rice cultivated in rotation and cover fertilized with nitrogen doses. The sprinkler irrigation system was used and the experiment was developed in the 2014/2015 and 2016/2017 harvest years, using a randomized block design, in a 5 × 4 factorial scheme. The treatments consisted of the crop remains combinations of single corn crop, corn + Crotalaria spectabilis, corn + pigeon pea, corn + jack bean and corn + Urochloa ruziziensis, as well as cover nitrogen doses (0 kg ha-1, 40 kg ha-1, 80 kg ha-1 and 120 kg ha-1) in the rice. The cultivation of upland rice in rotation with corn + pigeon pea was favored by the greater soil cover and nitrogen supply via cycling, if compared to the rotation with single corn crop. The intercropped corn + pigeon pea cultivation in the previous summer resulted in a 15 % increase in the yield of rice grains seeded in the rotation, when compared to the single corn crop. The cover nitrogen application positively influenced the grain yield with the maximum estimated doses of 46 kg ha-1 and 105 kg ha-1 of nitrogen, respectively in the 2014/2015 and 2016/2017 harvest years.