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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

versión On-line ISSN 1806-9657


FONTOURA, Sandra Mara Vieira  y  BAYER, Cimélio. Ammonia volatilization in no-till system in the south-central region of the State of Paraná, Brazil. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2010, vol.34, n.5, pp.1677-1684. ISSN 1806-9657.

Ammonia (NH3) volatilization can reduce the efficiency of urea applied to the surface of no-till (NT) soils. Thus, the objectives of this study were to evaluate the magnitude of NH3 losses from surface-applied urea and to determine if this loss justifies the urea incorporation in soil or its substitution for other N sources under the subtropical climatic conditions of South-Central region of Paraná State, Brazil. The experiment, performed over four harvesting seasons in a clayey Hapludox followed a randomized block design with four replicates. A single dose of N (150 kg ha-1) to V5 growth stage of corn cultivated under NT system was applied and seven treatments were evaluated, including surface-applied urea, ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, urea with urease inhibitor, controlled-release N source, a liquid N source, incorporated urea, and a control treatment with no N application. Ammonia volatilization was evaluated for 20 days after N application using a semi-open static system. The average cumulative NH3 loss due to the superficial application of urea was low (12.5 % of the applied N) compared to the losses observed in warmer regions of Southeastern Brazil (greater than 50 %). The greatest NH3 losses were observed in dry years (up to 25.4 % of the applied N), and losses decreased exponentially as the amount of rainfall after N application increased. Incorporated urea and alternative N sources, with the exception of controlled-release N source, decreased NH3 volatilization in comparison with surface-applied urea. Urea incorporation is advantageous for the reduction of NH3 volatilization; however, other aspects as its low operating efficiency should be considered before this practice is adopted. In the South-Central region of Paraná, the low NH3 losses from the surface-applied urea in NT system due to wet springs and mild temperatures do not justify its replacement for other N sources.

Palabras clave : nitrogen fertilizer; urea; corn; urease.

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