Decomposition of cover crop mulch and weed control under a no-till system for organic maize


  • Lamara Freitas Brito Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • João Carlos Cardoso Galvão Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Jeferson Giehl Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Steliane Pereira Coellho Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Silvane de Almeida Campos Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Tatiana Pires Barrella Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Tamara Rocha dos Santos Universidade Federal de Goiás
  • Beatriz Ferreira Mendonça Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Edio Vicente de Jesus Instituto Federal de Minas Gerais



Lupinus albus., Avena strigosa., Helianthus annuus., Zea mays., Plant nutrition., Weed suppression.


The decomposition dynamics of cover crop mulch influence the nutrient supply of successor crops and weed suppression. This is even more relevant in organic production systems, due to their limited use of chemical fertilizers and herbicides. As such, the aim of this study was to quantify biomass production, model the decomposition and N, P and K release of the mulch of different cover crops, and assess the weed suppression of cover crops in the form of mulch and in consortium with organic maize. A randomized block design was used, with a 7x2 factorial scheme (7 cover crop management strategies and 2 cropping systems - maize in monoculture and intercropped with jack bean) and 4 replicates. The management practices that produced the most biomass were white lupine intercropped with black oat and the white lupine, black oat and sunflower monocultures. The use of cover crops did not differ from manual weeding in terms of weed biomass, but did affect the relative importance (RI) of nutgrass. Additionally, maize intercropped with jack bean reduced weed biomass in subsequent crop growth stages.


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How to Cite

BRITO, L.F., GALVÃO, J.C.C., GIEHL, J., COELLHO, S.P., CAMPOS, S. de A., BARRELLA, T.P., DOS SANTOS, T.R., MENDONÇA, B.F. and DE JESUS, E.V., 2019. Decomposition of cover crop mulch and weed control under a no-till system for organic maize. Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 1339–1348. [Accessed24 April 2024]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v35n5a2019-41836. Available from:



Agricultural Sciences