Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
versión On-line ISSN 1806-9657
SOBRAL, Lafayette Franco y NOGUEIRA, Luis Carlos. Influence of N and K applied by fertirrigation on soil properties, critical leaf levels and yield of dwarf coconut. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2008, vol.32, n.4, pp. 1675-1682. ISSN 1806-9657. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832008000400032.
Irrigated plantations of dwarf coconut for the production of coconut water have expanded considerably in Brazil. Higher yields obtained under irrigation affect the amount of N and K required by dwarf coconut, influencing the relationships between yield and soil and leaf contents of these nutrients. An experiment was set up on an Ultissol in the Brazilian Northeast coastal tablelands, following a Pan Puebla III experimental matrix in a randomized block design. Ten combinations of urea and potassium chloride were weekly injected during 52 months. Soil samples were collected in the irrigated area and leaf samples taken from the leaves 9 and 14. Soil pH, Ca and Mg contents decreased as urea doses increased. The highest electrical conductivity value was 0.65 dS m-1 in the 0_5 cm layer and it decreased with depth. Correlation coefficients between leaf K and soil K in the layers 0_5, 0_20 and 20_40 cm were very similar, indicating that layer 0_20 cm can be sampled for fertility purposes in irrigated coconut. Highest fruit weight and coconut water volume were obtained with the lowest N level, due to the lower number of nuts per tree. Nitrogen and K combinations did not influence the coconut water pH, but increased coconut water brix. The K content in the coconut water increased along the K doses; leaf K and K in the coconut water were directly related. Nitrogen and K critical levels for leaves 9 and 14 were 19.2 and 20.5 g kg-1 and 12.1 and 9.4 g kg-1, respectively. The critical level of soil K by Mehlich-1 in the 0-20 cm layer was 45 mg dm-3.
Palabras clave : coconut; fertilization; leaf analysis.