Soil nitrate tests as complementary indices for management of corn nitrogen application

Lisandro Rambo Paulo Regis Ferreira da Silva Gilber Argenta Cimelio Bayer About the authors

Recently, nitrogen fertilization recommendation has had an expressive advance in Southern Brazil, when it began to take into account the contribution of the previous cover crop for the soil nitrogen (N) availability, in addition to organic matter and yield goal. Improvement of N management is constantly aimed. In this respect, there is a high potential to include soil and plant parameters as complementar indicators of soil N level, mainly in high yield systems and with high rates of N application. Within the soil parameters considered, one of the most impartant is the nitrate tests, which represent the readily available N and are known as intensity tests. According to the time of soil sampling, nitrate tests can be classified as: preplant soil nitrate test (PPNT), pre-sidedress soil nitrate test (PSNT), and post-harvest soil nitrate test (PHNT). Within these tests, one of the most important is the TPNC, which have been more studied and used, mainly in the EUA, because it allows the evaluation of the soil N availability during the crop development. It makes possible the management of nitrogen fertilization in specific situations. This review has the purpose of discussing the potential use of soil nitrate tests to evaluate N availability during crop development and to predict N requirements in maize. The hypothesis is that nitrate tests utilization result in higher flexibility of N fertilization management in this crop.

Zea mays; organic matter; prediction of nitrogen fertilization

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