INOCULATION OF DIAZOTROPHIC BACTERIA AND NITROGEN FERTILIZATION IN TOPDRESSING IN IRRIGATED CORN
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Corn is a nitrogen-intensive crop, and the use of management practices such as inoculation of the seed with diazotrophic bacteria, which can maximize crop productivity and reduce the need of nitrogen fertilizers, may result in lower production costs. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of inoculation of corn seed with Azospirillum brasilense and controlled addition of nitrogen to topdressing on the nutrition, production components, and productivity of crop grain. The experimental design was a randomized block design, with four replications in a 2 x 5 factorial scheme. The treatments consisted of inoculation or not of corn seed with A. brasilense (at 100 mL per 25 kg of seed) and five nitrogen (N) levels in topdressing (0, 30, 60, 90, and 120 kg N ha(-1) from urea [45% N]) were applied when the corn was in the phenological growth stage V6. Foliar macronutrients, foliar chlorophyll index (FCI), production components, and yield of corn grain were valuated. Inoculation of corn seeds with A. brasilense increased plant height and grain yield. Fertilization in topdressing, with N levels up to 120 kg ha(-1), linearly increased the foliar nutrients and productivity of corn cultivated in the spring/summer in the low-altitude Cerrado region of Brazil.