Abstract

During a three-year period from 1993 to 1995, experiments were conducted to determine the effect of the maize-legume associations on soil fertility and their impact upon the yields of subsequent bean crops. We studied under Research Station conditions on an Oxisol soil and on drainage plots in Ultisol soil, the following associations: for the agro-ecosystem South of Havana oxisol we considered maize + caupi; maize + velvet bean; maize + canavalia; maize + crotalaria; maize + sesbania. While for the agro-ecosystem of San Juan and Martinez (Utisol) treatments were : maize, maize + caupi; maize + velvet bean; maize + canavalia; millet and fallow soil. The results showed that the intercropping of maize with legume was beneficial on the evaluated soil properties, and that, if combined with minimum tillage in the Oxisols , they complement the beneficial effects of both agronomic practices of that type of soil. The impact of these legume-maize-treatments in the subsequent cultivation of beans was significant on seed yield compared to the obtained after maize alone. The nutrient balance was favored by the recycling of nutrients from green manure left by the legume-maize treatments used. The recycling if nutrients made possible a nitrogen reduction of 25%, and one of 100% for P2O5 and K2O. In the Ultisol soils drainage plots where established, in addition to the mentionated effects, we observed an anti-erosive impact of the treatments which diminished soil losses as compared to maize alone and fallow soil.