Legume Ground Covers for Low-input Pecan Management

in HortScience

Perennial legume ground covers were evaluated to supply N and increase beneficial arthropod densities in pecan orchards. Treatments were pure stands and a mixture of `Kenland' red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and `Louisiana S-l' white clover (Trifolium repense L.). The control plot was a grass sod. Nitrogen was applied at 0 to 200 kg·ha–1 in 50-kg intervals to the trees in the grass plots, but no N was applied to the legume plots. Aphids and beneficial arthropods were monitored in legumes and pecan canopies. Beneficial arthropods monitored were Coccinellidae, Chrysopidae, Nabis, Syrphid, and spiders. The most abundant beneficial arthropods were spiders, Coccinellidae, Chrysopidae, and Nabis respectively. In pecan canopies, spiders, Coccinellidae, Chrysopidae were the most abundant. The legumes supplied ≤156 kg N/ha to the pecan trees.

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