African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Biomass yields, soil cover, content and accumulation of nutrients of some green manure legumes grown under conditions of north of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Rômulo F. Duarte1*, Luiz A. Fernandes2, Regynaldo A. Sampaio2, Leonardo D. Tuffi Santos2, Paulo H. Grazziotti3 and Humberto P. Silva4
1Soil Science Department, Federal University of Lavras (DCS/UFLA), CEP: 37200-000, Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil. 2Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), CEP: 39404-006, Montes Claros, Minas Gerais, Brazil. 3Department of Forestry Engineering, Federal University of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys (UFVJM), Campus JK, CEP:39100-000, Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil. 4Agriculture Department, Federal University of Lavras (DAG/UFLA), CEP: 37200-000, Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 May 2013
  •  Published: 06 June 2013


The potential of green manure crops as conservation practice play an important role in soil quality and sustainability of agricultural systems. This field experiment was conducted in 2009 season to evaluate the performance of different green manures cultivated under Minas Gerais conditions, southeast Brazil. The treatments, in randomized blocks with three replications, were: Spontaneous vegetation (control), Sunhemp (Crotalaria juncea), Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan), Velvetbeans (Mucuna aterrimaMucuna pruriensMucuna deeringiana), Lablab (Lablab purpureus), Jackbean (Canavalia ensiformis), Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) and mixture (all treatments). From the green manures screened, M. pruriens and the spontaneous vegetation presented the highest soil covering potential. The largest productions of fresh shoot biomass were recorded from the spontaneous vegetation, C. juncea and C. ensiformis. C. juncea and spontaneous vegetation also had the largest production of dry shoot biomass. The green manures presenting more nutrients in the shoot were the C. juncea, with higher contents of N, P, Ca, Mg and B, and spontaneous vegetation with the highest contents of K and Mg. In conclusion, the use of these green manures is promising and an appropriate technology for the reduction of chemical fertilizer use.


Key words: Agroecology, Canavalia ensiformis, crop rotation, family farming, green manures.