WEED COMPETITION WITH SOYBEAN IN NO-TILLAGE AGROFORESTRY AND SOLE-CROP SYSTEMS IN SUBTROPICAL BRAZIL
ABSTRACT Weed competition on soybean (Glycine max) growth and yield was expected to be different when managed in an agroforestry system as compared with sole-cropping without trees. Therefore agronomic practices to control weeds might need to be modified in agroforestry systems. We analyzed weed competition effects on soybean growth, grain yield, and yield components at different distances from 4year-old eucalyptus (Eucalyptus benthamii) in an alley cropping system, as well as in a sole-crop system in southern Brazil. Above-ground soybean biomass was collected throughout the growing season and a logistic function was used to model crop growth. Weed above-ground biomass sampled during the soybean cycle, and grain yield and yield components at the end of the growing season were evaluated using regression analysis across positions between tree lines, and results compared to those without influence of trees. Soybean yield components were mostly reduced between tree lines compared with sole-cropping without trees. Soybean growth and yield within the eucalyptus agroforestry system was not affected by weed competition. However, weeds reduced soybean growth and yield in sole-cropping without trees. Reduction in soybean yield in the agroforestry system was rather caused by competition from trees. Therefore, tree interference may limit both weed and soybean growth potential.