Foliar Application of Nitrogen Affects Metabolism and Productivity of Soybean

  •  Walquíria F. Teixeira    
  •  Evandro B. Fagan    
  •  Antônio P. M. Machado    
  •  Daniel Fortune    
  •  Fernando R. Moreira    


Soybean is one of the world’s most economically important crops and several factors can affect the productivity of this culture. Among these factors is the supply of needed nitrogen, especially in the reproductive stage, as it acts in photosynthetic activity and in grain filling. In view of this, the objective of our work was to evaluate the effect of foliar application of nitrogen in different reproductive stages in soybean culture. Two sources of nitrogen were used: conventional urea and urea-formaldehyde/triazone, both applied in reproductive stages R2, R3, R4, or R5, as well as a control treatment without foliar application of nitrogen. Plants submitted to foliar application of urea-formaldehyde/triazone showed an increase in nitrogen metabolism (percentage of nitrogen derived from the atmosphere [Ndfa] and nitrate reductase activity [NR]), an increase in peroxidase (POD), and the consequent reduction in hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in all stages of application of this treatment. When urea-formaldehyde/triazone was applied in R4, it resulted in a 7% increase in yield. The application of conventional urea in reproductive stages R4 and R5 increased nitrogen metabolism and resulted in an increase in yield by 4%. However, conventional urea reduced yield when applied in stages R2 and R3. The use of low doses of foliar nitrogen in stages R4 and R5, increased nitrogen metabolism in soybean plants. The timing of the application has a direct impact on the results with the slow-release nitrogen (urea formaldehyde /triazone) showing better results when applied in stage R4 and better results for conventional urea in R5.

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