Water Retention and S Incex of an Oxisol Subjected to Weed Control Methods in a Coffee Crop
Weed control in different crops affects the chemical, physical, and biological properties of the soil and consequently its structural quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate, using water retention characteristics and the S index, the physical quality of an Oxisol (Red-Yellow Latosol), subjected to weed control during the cultivation of coffee. The following weed control methods were evaluated: harrowing, brushcutting, residue crushing, manual weeding, post-emergence herbicide application, preemergence herbicide application, and maintenance of soil cover with peanut forage, Brachiaria grass, and spontaneous vegetation (no weed treatment). The following properties were determined for physical characterization of the soil: bulk density, total porosity, macroporosity, microporosity, water retention, and the S index. The weed control method significantly affected the physical properties and water retention in the subsurface layer of the Oxisol. Soil bulk density, total porosity, macroporosity, and microporosity were significantly correlated with the S index. According to the S index, the physical quality of the soil was classified as very good for the various weed control methods investigated.