EFFECT OF ROOSTER TREE GREEN MANURE ON CARROT AND LETTUCE INTERCROPPING SYSTEM

ABSTRACT Intercropping is a cropping system that involves cultivating two or more crops in the same area with different cycles and vegetative architectures. One of the ways to increase productivity and efficiency in this cropping system is through green manuring and by properly considering crop combinations, cultivation timing, and planting configuration of the component crops. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the productive performance of carrot and lettuce intercropping systems under different amounts of rooster tree biomass incorporated into the soil and under different spatial arrangements. The study was conducted at the experimental farm Rafael Fernandes, RN, Brazil, in the period from September 2012 to January 2013, in an experimental design of randomized complete blocks in a 4 x 3 factorial scheme, with twelve treatments and 3 replicates. The treatments consisted of the combination of four rooster tree biomass amounts incorporated into the soil (10, 25, 40 and 55 t ha-1 on a dry basis) with three predetermined spatial arrangements between the component crops (2:2, 3:3 and 4:4), which correspond to the rows of carrot alternating with the rows of lettuce. The agronomic performance of the carrot and lettuce intercropping system was optimized in the amount of approximately 46.36 t ha-1 of rooster tree incorporated into the soil. There was no influence of the spatial arrangements on the agronomic efficiency of the carrot and lettuce intercropping. The use of rooster tree as green manure is agronomically viable in intercropped systems of carrot and lettuce.