Alley Cropping of Maize With Nine Leguminous Trees

Rosecrance, Richard C.
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A maize-leguminous tree alley cropping system was studied on a N-deficient Vertic Haplustoll in Hawaii. Nine tree species were evaluated for green manure (GM) and intercropped maize yields. They included: Calliandra calothvrsus. Caianus caian. Cassia siamea. Gliricidia sepium. KX1— Leucaena hybrid (L. pallida X L. diversifolia), L. leucocephala. L. pallida. L. salvadorensis, and Sesbania sesban. S. sesban. G. sepium, L. pallida, and KX1 showed high potential for use as a hedge, producing between 5 and 12 dry t/ha GM with N yields between 140 and 275 kg N/ha in 4 prunings. Maize yields responded linearly to nitrogen applied as green manure. Maize yield increased 12 kg for each kg of nitrogen applied. Addition of prunings from hedge rows was able to support maize grain yield at about 1800 kg/ha for two consecutive cropping seasons, while control plot yields averaged less than 600 kg/ha. S. sesban hedges produced the most GM and yielded the highest maize yields. Maize yields reflected the amount of N applied as GM, regardless of tree species from which the N was derived. Green manure at five rates (0, 0.5x, lx, lx + 60 N from urea and 2x the amount produced by the hedge) were applied in the G. sepium and L. pallida plots. The full green manure plus urea treatment was the most efficient in increasing yields. These plots produced significantly more maize, with less total N applied, than the double G. sepium and L. pallida treatments. Significant reductions in maize yields were seen in maize rows near the hedge relative to those in the middle of the alley. Increasing the distance away from the hedge and coppicing the hedge earlier in maize growth significantly improved maize yields in the maize row closest to the trees.
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