Home › Vol 4, No 1 (2015): August  ›  Abstract ›  View Pdf

Soil Properties and Nutrient Uptake of Corn-legumes Intercropping Under Conservation Agriculture Practice Systems (CAPS) in a Sloping Upland Oxisol

Apolinario B. Gonzaga, Jr.

Conservation Agriculture Practice Systems (CAPS) is new agronomic innovation anchored on three main pillars: minimal tillage, continuous mulching and diversified cropping all applied in a simultaneous manner in a cropping season and area. It is a global innovation adapted by major food production countries. However, it is not yet tested under local farming landscape more so in a sloping upland production area. Influence of CAPS on changes in soil properties, nutrient uptake, and soil moisture are critical factors in its long-term sustainability and adoption among local farmers. This study aimed to conduct a field experiment involving different corn-legumes intercropping (cropping system 1 or CS1, CS2, CS3, CS4) and monocrop corn (CS5, control) to evaluate the changes in soil properties, nutrient uptake, and soil moisture in an upland oxisol for two cropping seasons. Key edaphic parameters such as internal nitrogen (N) efficiency, organic matter (OM), organic carbon (OC) and soil moisture content were determined and evaluated. A notable increase in N efficiencies, OM, OC, and soil moisture content measured at different time intervals in corn-legumes systems (corn + Arachis pintoi, corn + Stylosanthes guianensis and corn-cowpea) compared with the control (corn-corn, CS5) was observed. Corn + S. guianensis (CS2) and corn + cowpea (CS3) appeared to have more efficient N absorption trend as compared to other cropping systems imposed. Key findings provided initial merits of adoption of CAPS within the context of productivity, profitability, and soil sustainability in local corn-based farms in sloping uplands.

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