Biodegradable mulch in weed management and water use efficiency in lettuce crop

Agnaldo Roberto de Jesus Freitas, Francisco Claudio Lopes de Freitas, Caetano Marciano de Souza, Fabio Teixeira Delazari, Paulo Geraldo Berger, Fernando José Gomes Borges, José Cola Zanuncio


Vegetable cultivation requires high water use and weed control. Soil cover using bidegradable material with recycled paper, can be an alternative to polyethylene film to reduce weed incidence, soil temperature and increase water use efficiency. The objective of this study was to evaluate weed control, soil temperature, water volume applied and water use efficiency in lettuce crop with soil covered by recycled paper compared to polyethylene film, and soil without coverage. The treatments were composed of recycled paper (RP), black polyethylene film (PF) and soil without cover with weed remove (WR) and soil without cover without weed remove (WW). RP and PF controlled weeds. The soil temperature with RP was 8.2 and 2.1 ºC lower than with PF and WR, respectively. The lettuce yield with RP was 14.5 and 28.3% higher than WR, and with PF, respectively. The water volume applied with RP was 26.5% lower, increasing water use efficiency by 55.6% compared to WR. Soil cover with recycled paper controlled weeds, reduced soil temperature and water consumption and increased water use efficiency in lettuce crop. The recycled paper due to being biodegradable, does not need to be removed from the field the end of the crop cycle, reducing costs and environmental pollution.



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