Chemical and physical attributes of the soil cultivated with cacao intercropped with cover crops.
The use of cover crops is recommended to produce straw to protect the soil, improve fertility through nutrient cycling, soil structuring and sustainability of the productive system. In this sense, the work was developed aiming to evaluate the chemical and physical attributes of a Nitisols cultivated with cacao full-sun cacao system intercropping with cover crops. The experiment was performed in a complete randomized block design, with plots subdivided in a 2x4 factorial scheme, with five replicates. The treatments consisted of two sampling sites (rows and interrows) and cover crops: pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan L.), millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.), consortium of pigeon pea and millet and control with invasive plant growth. Samples were collected in the rows and interrows of the cacao tree for chemical and physical analysis of the soil. The cultivation of millet and invasive plants provided higher levels of calcium, sum of bases and CEC in the rows than in the interrows. The levels of K, Ca, Zn, Mn, CEC and OM were higher in the rows than interrows of cacao trees. The intercropping of cover crops in full-sun cacao system did not change the physical attributes of the soil in the initial implantation phase.