Recent advances in maize production in integrated systems: A review
Scientific Electronic Archives
Maize is an important crop around the world supporting food security, especially in developing countries. The increasing demand for food and renewable energy resources has been supported studies of competitiveness and complementarity interactions between trees, crops, and animals. Thus, the integrated systems should promote a synergic relationship between the components, resulting in greater production of crops, animals, and forestry. Our objective was to describe recent advances on maize
... tion in integrated systems and how recent research can contribute to intensify and/or diversify the production system. The current literature supports the following appointments. The increase in the soil organic carbon in integrated systems improves the physical (density and aggregate stability), chemical (nutrient retention), and biological (greater diversity and microbial mass) properties. Great grain yield and input reduction are possible with the microbial inoculants' use. The inoculants' action is maximized when associated with fertilizers and/or biochar. The biochar acts as a soil conditioner, increasing the water and nutrients retention in the soil, favoring the maize growth. Maize can be grown in the understory (moderate shade), but productivity will be reduced. Thus, we identified the need for research on shading-tolerant genotypes, intercropped management to minimizes competition, quantification of the stratified light profile by a system component (tree, maize, and grass), and more complex and accurate mathematical models to support decisions in the integrated systems arrangements. Understanding these practices would encourage producers to enhance the use of integrated systems.