Vegetable crops are grown in Italy on 560.000 hectares with a production of 16.000.000 tons. In Sicily, according to ISTAT data vegetable crops are grown in open field on 75.000 hectares and represent an important income for Sicilian growers. However, vegetable crop production depends on high-input systems to achieve high productivity and, this in turn, may have a high environmental impact. The majority of the studies concerning soil conservation and sustainable agriculture has been conducted in the U.S.A and Australia. In particular, these studies have focused on minimum tillage or no tillage and the use of cover crops as organic mulching. Due to the lack of studies concerning this area of interest in the Mediterranean basin, there is no specific information on sustainable and valid cultural methods to be applied for vegetable crops grown in open field in the Sicilian environment. Therefore, the objective of this project is to study the effects of different cultural methods on soil properties, and on yields and fruit characteristics of two vegetable crops selected. Cover crop management and the effects of their introduction in the rotation will be evaluated according to the following treatments: a)Winter Cover crops •Vicia faba var. equina and Vicia sativa •Brassica juncea •Sod soil b)Cultural management • Flail mowing of the cover crop and biomass incorporation into the soil • Flail mowing of the cover crop and biomass incorporation into the soil + biodegradable film mulching • Flail mowing of the cover crop and biomass utilized as organic mulching. The experimental design is a split-plot with 3 replications. Experimental plots measure 150 m-2. Research duration: 2 years. The research will be carried out in western Sicily. Soil type: vertisoil. Crop rotation: winter melon – cauliflower. Soil observations: • chemical and physical analyses at different dates • soil temperature measurements • water holding capacity Crop observations: dry and fresh weight increases, plant phenology, chlorophyl measurement (SPAD), foliar analyses, marketable and unmarketable fruit production, fruit characteristics
|Data di inizio/fine effettiva||3/22/10 → 3/21/12|
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