Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
Print version ISSN 0100-0683
MAIA, Suelen Cristina Mendonça; SORATTO, Rogério Peres; NASTARO, Beatriz and FREITAS, Lucas Barbosa de. The nitrogen sufficiency index underlying estimates of nitrogen fertilization requirements of common bean. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2012, vol.36, n.1, pp. 183-192. ISSN 0100-0683. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832012000100019.
Chlorophyll determination with a portable chlorophyll meter can indicate the period of highest N demand of plants and whether sidedressing is required or not. In this sense, defining the optimal timing of N application to common bean is fundamental to increase N use efficiency, increase yields and reduce the cost of fertilization. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the efficiency of N sufficiency index (NSI) calculated based on the relative chlorophyll index (RCI) in leaves, measured with a portable chlorophyll meter, as an indicator of time of N sidedressing fertilization and to verify which NSI (90 and 95 %) value is the most appropriate to indicate the moment of N fertilization of common bean cultivar Perola. The experiment was carried out in the rainy and dry growing seasons of the agricultural year 2009/10 on a dystroferric Red Nitosol, in Botucatu, São Paulo State, Brazil. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design with five treatments, consisting of N managements (M1: 200 kg ha-1 N (40 kg at sowing + 80 kg 15 days after emergence (DAE) + 80 kg 30 DAE); M2: 100 kg ha-1 N (20 kg at sowing + 40 kg 15 DAE + 40 kg 30 DAE); M3: 20 kg ha-1 N at sowing + 30 kg ha-1 when chlorophyll meter readings indicated NSI < 95 %; M4: 20 kg ha-1 N at sowing + 30 kg ha-1 N when chlorophyll meter readings indicated NSI < 90 % and, M5: control (without N application)) and four replications. The variables RCI, aboveground dry matter, total leaf N concentration, production components, grain yield, relative yield, and N use efficiency were evaluated. The RCI correlated with leaf N concentrations. By monitoring the RCI with the chlorophyll meter, the period of N sidedressing of common bean could be defined, improving N use efficiency and avoiding unnecessary N supply to common bean. The NSI 90 % of the reference area was more efficient to define the moment of N sidedressing of common bean, to increase N use efficiency.
Keywords : Phaseolus vulgaris; chlorophyll; relative chlorophyll index; chlorophyll meter.