|L.M. de Carvalho, I.R. de Oliveira, N.A. Almeida , K.R. Andrade
|Foeniculum vulgare, biotic interaction, medicinal and aromatic plants, organic management, intercrop, agroecology
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Miller), Apiaceae, a spice and medicinal plant from the Mediterranean region, is grown by family farmers without irrigation and under high temperature conditions of the Brazilian northeast.
In this study, a field experiment was done in the semi-arid region of Sergipe state, Brazil, to evaluate the performance of fennel-bean intercrop under organic management, using a completely randomized block design with six replications and four treatments (fennel monocrop and fennel intercropped (additive model) with two cultivars of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and one cultivar of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). Fennel plants were obtained from seeds and transplanted into the field at the beginning of the rainy season in June, while seeds of the beans and cowpea were being sown.
Umbels of the fennel were harvested in January, 210 days after transplanting the fennel into the field.
The fresh and dry mass of umbels, absolute and relative yield, land equivalent ratio (LER) and essential oil content were improved under the intercrop with cowpea and one cultivar of bean.
No significant differences were detected on height and canopy areas among treatments, but any decrease in yield of fennel plants associated with intercrops with cowpea or bean were small.
The intercrops studies confirmed the viability of intercropping fennel with cowpeas and beans.
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