Soil cover with plastic film is a practice used to optimize the agronomic performance of different crops, but its behavior in the citrus growing conditions of Brazil remains unknown. Five experiments in commercial orchards located in the state of São Paulo, in rainfed or irrigated systems, were carried out to evaluate the effect of soil cover with plastic film (white/black or silver/ black color) on the vegetative growth and initial production of sweet orange trees up to 3.5 years after planting. In each location and experiment, completely randomized design was used, with four to ten replicates and five to twelve useful trees per plot. Considering the set of results, soil cover with plastic film increased the average canopy volume by 27% and the average production per tree by 33% compared to control trees without plastic cover. The positive effect of plastic cover was observed until the third year of its application, gradually decreasing with its degradation. In general, greater relative increases were observed in variables evaluated with the use of plastic cover in rainfed experiments than irrigated ones, while the effect of white/black either silver/black films was similar.
Pacheco, C. de A., Girardi, E. A., Silva, S. de M., Gueiros, J. A. S., & Bassanezi, R. B. (2021). Potential of soil cover with plastic film for the setting of sweet orange orchards. Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura, 43(3). https://doi.org/10.1590/0100-29452021734