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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

versão On-line ISSN 1806-9657


SANGOI, Luis; ERNANI, Paulo Roberto  e  SILVA, Paulo Regis Ferreira da. Maize response to nitrogen fertilization timing in two tillage systems in a soil with high organic matter content. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2007, vol.31, n.3, pp.507-517. ISSN 1806-9657.

No-tillage systems, associated to black oat as preceding cover crop, have been increasingly adopted. This has motivated anticipated maize nitrogen fertilization, transferring it from the side-dress system at the stage when plants have five to six expanded leaves to when the preceding cover crop is eliminated or to maize sowing. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of soil tillage system and timing of N fertilization on maize grain yield and agronomic efficiency of N applied to a soil with high organic matter content. A three-year field experiment was conducted in Lages, state of Santa Catarina, from 1999 onwards. Treatments were set up in a split plot arrangement. Two soil tillage systems were tested in the main plots: conventional tillage (CT) and no-tillage (NT). Six N management systems were assessed in the split-plots: S1 - control, without N application; S2 - all N (100 kg ha-1) applied at oat desiccation; S3 - all N applied at maize sowing; S4 - all N side-dressed when maize had five expanded leaves (V5 growth stage); S5 - 1/3 of N rate applied at maize sowing and 2/3 at V5; S6 - 2/3 of nitrogen rate applied at maize sowing and 1/3 at V5. Maize response to the time and form of splitting N was not affected by the soil tillage system. Grain yield ranged from 6.0 to 11.8 t ha-1. The anticipation of N application (S2 and S3) decreased grain yield in two of three years. In the rainiest early spring season (2000/2001) of the experiment, S4 promoted an yield advantage of 2.2 t ha-1 over S2 and S3. Application of total N rate before or at sowing decreased the number of kernels produced per ear in 2000/2001 and 2001/2002 and the number of ears produced per area in 2001/2002, resulting in reduced grain yield. The agronomic efficiency of applied N (kg grain increase/kg of N applied) ranged from 13.9 to 38.8 and was always higher in the S4 than in the S2 and S3 N systems. Short-term N immobilization did not reduce grain yield when no N was applied before or at maize sowing in a soil with high organic matter content, regardless of the soil tillage system.

Palavras-chave : Zea mays; nitrogen; immobilization; leaching; grain yield.

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