Utilization of nitrogen from green manure and mineral fertilizer by sugarcane

Aproveitamento do nitrogênio da adubação verde e da fertilização mineral pela cana - de - açucar

Given their potential for biological nitrogen fixation, legumes used as green manure are an alternative source of nitrogen to crops, and can supplement or even replace mineral nitrogen fertilization. The utilization of nitrogen by sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) fertilized with sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.) and ammonium sulphate (AS) was evaluated using the 15N tracer technique. Amounts of 195.8 kg and 70 kg N per hectare, respectively, of sunn hemp and AS were added in the following treatments: without green manure and without AS; without green manure, with AS -15N; with green manure-15N and with AS; with green manure-15N, without AS; with green manure and with AS-15N. Four samples from the leaves +3 were collected and 2 m of the sugar cane row were harvested to estimate crop yield. The results for N contents (g kg-1), isotopic abundance of N (atoms % 15N) in leaf +3 samples, and sugarcane productivity were used to calculate cumulative N, nitrogen in the plant derived from the fertilizer-Ndff (% and kg ha-1), as well as percent recovery of fertilizer N (R%). Sugarcane was analysed and pol and total recovered sugar calculated. The highest Ndff percentages were observed eight months after sugarcane planting for treatments containing green manure without mineral N, and green manure with mineral N, at 15.3 and 18.4%, respectively. The best nitrogen recovery was observed during harvest, 18 months after planting; the treatment containing mineral fertilizer showed 34.4% recovery, while the sum between mineral N plus green manure N showed 40.0%. Treatments containing green manure plus mineral N changed soil attributes, by increasing Ca and Mg contents, sum of bases, pH, and base saturation, and decreasing potential acidity. In the plant, those treatments increased Ca and K contents.

Saccharum spp; sunn hemp; 15N; isotope technique

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