Rogerio Peres Soratto, Department of Crop Science, College of Agricultural Sciences, São Paulo State University – UNESP, Botucatu, Brazil and Marcos José Perdoná, Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento do Estado de São Paulo, Agencia Paulista de Tecnologia dos agronegócios, Bauru, Brazil
Intercropped growth of Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica L.) with woody plants has proven to be beneficial to the crop. This production system allows the farmer an additional income from the second crop, since the production biennial oscillation and the price of coffee at certain times lead to financial problems to the grower. However, studies about intercropping of coffee with macadamia trees (Macadamia integrifolia Maiden & Betche) are almost nonexistent. The objective of this study was to evaluate the growth and yield of Arabica coffee (cv. Obatã - IAC 1669-20) and macadamia trees (cv. IAC 9-20 grafted on rootstock Aloha - IAC 10-14) in intercropping and monocropping systems, with and without drip irrigation. An experiment was planted in February 2006 in Dois Córregos, São Paulo State, Southeastern Brazil (22º 21' S and 48º 22' W). The experiment was carried out in a completely randomized design with ten replications. Treatments consisted of three growing systems (1 – macadamia trees sole cropping, 2 – coffee trees sole cropping, and 3 – macadamia trees intercropped with coffee trees), with and without drip irrigation. Macadamia trees reached a higher growth and accelerated production when intercropped with coffee trees under irrigation. Macadamia nut production and quality were benefited by intercropping and irrigation, while almond yield under irrigated intercropping ranked 27%, 133%, and 251% above irrigated sole cropping, rainfed intercropping, and rainfed sole cropping, respectively. On average, coffee production ranked 60% higher under irrigation, but was not influenced by intercropping in such condition. In rainfed condition, intercropping increased coffee production by 10%.