Establishing Cratylia argentea in an Ultisol in the West of Acre, Southwestern Amazon, Brazil

Antônio Marcos de Souza Aquino, Eduardo Pacca Luna Mattar, Luís Henrique Ebling Farinatti, Leandro Roberto da Cruz, Alen Patric de Oliveira Costa, Elizio Ferreira Frade Junior, Edson Alves de Araújo, Walter Jose Rodrigues Matrangolo


Cratylia argentea is a multi-purpose shrub with potential as a source of protein for livestock, but is rarely used in production units. This study aimed to monitor the establishment of a stand of this plant in a sandy Ultisol (Red-Yellow Argisol), in an area of 4,000 m2 on a rural property in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil, comparing 2 planting methods: (i) transplanting seedlings (78 in total); and (ii) direct seeding (3,820 seeds in 1,910 pits). The existing pasture was sprayed with glyphosate before planting C. argentea. Subsequently, herbicide and mechanical methods were used to control weeds, while fertilizer was applied and the area was mulched. In the first year after planting, activities performed and inputs were recorded along with costs in order to create a reference model for those intending to cultivate this species in the humid tropics. At 10 months after planting, average height of plants was 162 cm (range 70‒240 cm) with no effect of planting method. Ninety-seven per cent of plants established from seedlings survived, while 81% of pits established from direct seeding in the field had surviving plants. The cost of establishing a hectare of C. argentea was US$ 1,654.17, with 85.8% of the cost for labor and only 14.2% for other inputs, although costs of producing seedlings and hand-planting them were not considered. Studies to develop planting systems using less labor seem warranted.

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