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Terra Latinoamericana

versión On-line ISSN 2395-8030versión impresa ISSN 0187-5779


GARCIA-HERNANDEZ, José Luis et al. Research advances and prospects on the use of green manures in agriculture. Terra Latinoam [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.4, pp.391-399. ISSN 2395-8030.

Agricultural production in conventional systems utilizes primarily chemical fertilizers to provide the plants the necessary nutrients. However, this practice has negative collateral effects that contaminate and degrade soil, becoming more serious with the excessive mechanical tillage. For these reasons, it is further necessary to find more sustainable alternatives for fertilizing crops, and one of these alternatives is the use of green manures. Green manures are plant parts or residues that can be cropped and mixed into the soil or can be kept as intercrop. The most common crops used as green manure are legumes because of their capability to fix high levels of atmospheric nitrogen (N). Nevertheless, within the legume group, not all have the same characteristics. This paper reviews and analyzes the most recent literature on the potential use of green manures in agriculture, regarding not only the ability of these materials to provide organic matter and nutriments to soil, but also to control pests, plant diseases and weeds. Emphasis is given to the potential of their use in arid land agriculture. The most outstanding genera with the greatest potential, especially for use in arid and semiarid lands, are Vigna, Lablab, Lupinus, and Melilotus.

Palabras llave : manure; fertilization, soil; plant nutrition; pest control.

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