Item Details

Title: Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens var. utilis) a Cover Crop as Bioherbicide to Preserve the Environmental Services of Soil

Date Published: 2012
Author/s: Angel Isauro Ortiz Ceballos, Juan Rogelio Aguirre Rivera, Mario Manuel Osorio Arce and Cecilia Peña Valdivia
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Affiliation: 1Instituto de Biotecnología y Ecología Aplicada (INBIOTECA),
Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa 2Instituto de Investigaciones de Zonas Desérticas,
Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí
3Colegio de Postgraduados-Campus Tabasco, H. Cárdenas
4 Colegio de Postgraduados-Campus Montecillo, Texcoco


Cover crops have been used as green manure since the Zhou dynasty (1134-247 BCE) in
China. Later on, Greeks and Romans used legumes widely as part of their crops. Pliny,
Virgil, Theophrastus and other philosophers (Cato, Varro, Columella and Palladius) wrote
about the use of legumes as cover crops (Allison, 1973; Tivy, 1990; Winiwarter, 2006). Also,
the Codex Vergara and Florentine Codex,-the most comprehensive textual encyclopedia of
Aztec soil knowledge shows the role of application of soil amendments as practice to
maintaining or increasing soil fertility (Williams, 2006). The use of legumes as associated or
rotation crops or their cultivation as green manure was a strategy to replenish the soil
nitrogen that had been used up by crops and to provide organic matter necessary to
maintain the soil’s physical and chemical conditions favourable for sustained crop
production (Mulvaney et al., 2009).