Infestation of Diatraea saccharalis (Fabr.) during Five Consecutive Cycles of Sugarcane Crop Succeeding Leguminous Crops
The area cultivated with sugarcane in Brazil is expanding, and increasingly using legumes cover crop in new deployed areas and in those which were reformed. Long-term trials were carried out in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil, to evaluate the effect of leguminous green manure on the natural infestation of Diatraea saccharalis (Fabr.) during five cropping cycles of sugarcane "IAC 87-3396". This study was carried out from October 1999 to October 2005 in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil, at coordinates
... zil, at coordinates 22˚42"S and 47˚38"W, 560 m above sea level, in soil classified as Typic Paleudult. Green manure crops were assigned to five treatments: peanuts (Arachis hypogaea L.) (cultivar "IAC-Tatu" and "IAC-Caiapó"), sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.) (cultivar "IAC 1") and velvet-bean [Mucuna aterrima (Piper & Tracy) Holland] (cultivar "common"). A treatment without any green manure or weed was used as the control. The previous sugarcane crop was destroyed and the soil was prepared in a conventional way (using plow and harrow) before the leguminous crops were sowed. Thirty days after the sowing, weeds were removed and, 120 days later, the crops were cut and its biomass was deposited on the soil surface without incorporation. Experimental plots comprised five rows of sugarcane, each one measuring 10 m long and spaced 1.40 m apart. The sugarcane was harvested 18 months after biomass deposit, on October 25th, 2001 and its stalks were collected at intervals of approximately 12 months in: 07/09/2002, 08/01/2003, 11/07/2004 and 10/06/2005. At harvest, the masses were determined from a sample of sugarcane, cut from three rows (2 m long) in the center of the plot. The losses caused by the sugarcane borer were estimated by the intensity of the infestation by randomly observing and collecting sugarcane stems from * Corresponding author. E. J. Ambrosano et al. 15 each plot. A great reduction in the number of stalks and in the yield was noted proportionally to the intensity of the infestation of the borer in the sugarcane crop grown after the velvet-bean. The sugarcane-velvet-bean rotation should be regarded considering the intensity of sugarcane borer infestation. No influence of the other green manure crops was observed on the intensity of the infestations. However, the harvest seasons of the sugarcane seemed to influence the borer infestation.