Morphological Changes in Sugarcane as a Function of Metallurgic Slag and Gypsum

  •  Paulo R. A. Clemente    
  •  Benigno F. A. de Almeida    
  •  Diogo H. de A. B.    
  •  André L. J. Silva    
  •  Vinicius S. G. da Silva    
  •  Laurício Endres    


Drought associated with soil acidity and exchangeable Al3+ in depth are one of the main limiting factors in agricultural production in Northeast Brazil. Acidity correctives such as limestone, metallurgy slag, and gypsum are alternatives to minimize the effects of seasonal droughts on the crop. A field study was carried out to evaluate the effect of the slag and gypsum on the morphological aspects and productivity of sugarcane during two crop cycles. A randomized block design in subdivided plots scheme with four replications was used. The plot consisted of five rows of 10 m length each, spaced 1 m from each other. Treatments consisted of five levels of metallurgy slag (0; 1; 2; 3 and 4 Mg ha-1) and two levels of gypsum (0 and 1.9 Mg ha-1). Slag and gypsum had no effect on sugarcane plant yield. However, regarding sugarcane ratoon, slag increased the yield per hectare by 1.96 Mg ha-1 and sugar yield by 0.33 Mg ha-1 per Mg of applied slag. Slag and gypsum provided better biomass allocation to the root system and improved root distribution along the soil profile.

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