Effects of intercropping Canavalia ensiformis (L.) inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi complemented with mineral fertilizers on the forage production of mulberry [Morus alba (L.)]


Gertrudis Pentón Fernández
Estación Experimental de Pastos y Forrajes Indio Hatuey Central España Republicana 44280, Matanzas, Cuba



The agronomic management of mulberry [Morus alba (L.)] in Cuba demands knowing the necessary quantities of fertilizers to obtain adequate forage yields and crude protein contents. In the face of that situation it was decided to study the feasibility of intercropping Canavalia ensiformis (L.) inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of the effective strain Glomus cubense, considering the cutting interval, the complementary doses of fertilizers and the season, in established mulberry plantations. The study was conducted at the Pastures and Forages Research Station Indio Hatuey, belonging to the University of Matanzas, Cuba, between 2007 and 2010, on a lixiviated Ferralitic Red soil. It was proven that the forage productivity of M. alba (L.) without irrigation depends on the season, the availability of nutrients, the amount of rainfall and the cutting interval. The intercropping of C. ensiformis inoculated with AMF, complemented with the intermediate doses of mineral fertilizers and with cutting intervals of 90 days in mulberry, guarantees in the edible biomass stable yields, higher crude protein contents and better economic indexes. The intercropping of C. ensiformis with an efficient strain of AMF is an efficient way to increase the mycorrhizal functioning of the mulberry plantation and reduces the quantities of mineral fertilizers. The high forage yields of mulberry are obtained from high extractions of N and K. In the nutrition of mulberry, the hardly exchangeable forms of K in the soil have a significant contribution.