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Tomato crop response to short-duration legume green manures in tropical vegetable systems
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The potential of legume green manure as an alternative to mineral N fertilizer in tropical horticulture has received scant attention. The feasibility of meeting N needs of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) with green manure was studied in six field experiments at three locations in major vegetable growing areas of Taiwan and the Philippines in 1993-95. Legume biomass, N2 fixation and N accumulation, and tomato yield and N uptake were quantified within a 6-month experiment cropping pattern. Yields of green manure-amended tomato crops were compared with those amended with fertilizer N (0-150 kg N/ha). The residual effect of the treatments on a subsequent crop (maize) was estimated at the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC) by measures of biomass and N uptake 30 d after sowing. Legume N recovery in tomato crops was traced with 15N at Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU). Soyabeans (Glycine max) harvested at 60-74 d accumulated a minimum of 2.8 t biomass/ha and 100 kg N/ha at all locations and in all seasons. A maximum of 6 t biomass/ha and 140 kg N/ha was reached in the wet season (WS) at AVRDC. Indigofera (Indigofera tinctoria) and mung bean (Vigna radiata) biomass yields were more variable and always inferior to soyabean yields. Tomato yields across locations ranged from 3 to 70 t fruit/ha. Tomato yields responded to green manure N in the WS in Taiwan and in the northern Philippines, comparing favourably with fertilizer at 38-120 kg N/ha. No response to green manure N was found in the dry season (DS) at AVRDC or at Bukidnon Resources Company, Inc. (BRCI). The 15N experiments showed that only a small fraction of legume N (9-15%) was recovered by the tomato crop at MMSU. Maize biomass and N uptake, following the tomato crop, was increased with soyabean green manure compared with the control in the AVRDC WS and DS. Tomato yield response to green manure N is high on infertile soils and tomato N requirement can be substituted fully or partially by green manure, depending on soil N mineralization.
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 Record created 2001-10-09, last modified 2019-05-21

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