Maize Yields

Results from MESCOSAGR field experiments indicate that biomass yield (Table 3.8) from plots green manured with hairy vetch (GMAN) was not generally different from those obtained with mineral fertilization (TRA).

For Torino, treatment effects were concealed by high soil fertility in the first 2 years (total biomass measured in the unfertilized control was not statistically different between GMAN and TRA). In the third year, residual soil fertility was lowered (with yield from unfertilized control soil being lower than for GMAN and TRA), and no difference could be detected in the yield of GMAN and TRA. This suggests that the effect of hairy vetch was not an artifact due to background soil conditions. A similar behavior was observed in the Napoli site from the second year onward. Differently from compost, mineralization of green manure did not limit maize yield in either TO or NA, possibly because vetch biomass is more easily decomposable than compost for its low lignin content (Benincasa et al. 2004; Zavattaro et al. 2003).

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