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Revista Ceres

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PICCOLO, Marco Antonio et al. Production of hydroponic maize forage using organic substrates and cattle wastewater. Rev. Ceres [online]. 2013, vol.60, n.4, pp.544-551. ISSN 0034-737X.

We evaluated the productivity of hydroponic forage maize produced in different organic substrates, using nutrient solutions prepared with different concentrations of nitrogen in cattle wastewater. The experiment was arranged in a (4 x 5) + 4 factorial randomized block design with 3 repetitions. The nutrient solutions used were: control (standard nutrient solution for hydroponic maize) and cattle wastewater with 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100% of the nitrogen standard nutrient solution with application volume of 4 L m-2. The substrates used were sugarcane bagasse, coffee husk, elephant grass cv. Napier and without substrate. The seeding density was 2.5 kg m-2 of pre-germinated maize seeds. Plants were harvested 15 days after the experiment has been set up. We evaluated the dry matter production of shoots, dry matter basis (comprised of roots, non-germinated seeds + organic substrate) and dry matter of the whole plant. Cattle wastewater can be used to replace the standard nutrient solution, with no need for enrichment with nitrogen. Significant effects between the substrates used in the production of forage dry matter, especially for the substrates Napier grass and sugarcane bagasse, which promoted increase in dry matter production of shoots.

Keywords : hydroponic; wastewater; organic substrates; nitrogen.

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