Ground-cover systems in non-irrigated olive orchards Conference Paper uri icon


  • Currently, in NE Portugal, we are advising farmers to adopt ground-cover systems in olive orchards instead of tillage. Most of soils are on steep slopes and have very low organic matter content (Arrobas and Rodrigues, 2002). This consequently creates huge problems for soil conservation. However, we need strong arguments to convince the farmers. Tillage in a very old and ingrained practice; it is easy, pleasant and in some ways it works. Alternative management systems, such as the use of herbicides or cover crops, need a high degree of technical expertise. Ground-cover systems affect crop growth and yields by influencing weed competition, water use efficiency, nutrient uptake, soil fertility and soil conservation. In order to evaluate the multiple aspects of soil management systems in olive groves two field experiments have been conducted since October 2001 in NE Portugal. In this abstract olive yields and the increase in trunk circumference are presented.

publication date

  • January 1, 2006