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Journal of soil science and plant nutrition

versión On-line ISSN 0718-9516

Resumen

NAJERA, F et al. Evaluation of soil fertility and fertilisation practices for irrigated maize (Zea mays L.) under Mediterranean conditions in Central Chile. J. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. [online]. 2015, vol.15, n.1, pp.84-97.  Epub 24-Feb-2014. ISSN 0718-9516.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-95162015005000008.

The main aim of this study was to carry out an evaluation of soil fertility and fertilisation practices for irrigated maize (Zea mays L.) under Mediterranean conditions in central Chile. Soil samples were collected from 31 maize fields for macro- and micronutrient analysis; additionally a crop management survey was carried out in each field. These data were used to identify the range of critical soil-test concentrations of nutrients and the relationships among these soil fertility parameters; to assess the relationship between maize yields and nutrient status of soils; to evaluate the current fertiliser practices of farmers comparing them with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertiliser model calculations; and to analyse whether The results showed that there was a dominance of neutral-alkaline soils with low organic matter and N levels, and high P, cations and micronutrient levels. Regression analysis explained at least 59% of the variation in maize yields, when soil pH and available zinc (Zn) content were identified as the most important variables controlling maize yield. Results suggest that in neutral-alkaline soils cultivated with maize and high inputs of N-P-K, there may be a maize yield response to Zn applications. It was found that most farmers over-fertilised with N (from 60 to 360 kg N ha-1) and P (from10 to 120 kg P2O5 ha-1), converting maize fields in an important non-point source of pollution of water bodies in Central Chile.

Palabras clave : Soil nutrition; fertiliser; nitrogen; phosphorus; water quality; zinc.

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