Evaluation of sulfur source and dose on the nutritional state and production of piatã forage
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Sulfur deficiency in soils has become a worldwide concern for agricultural production. This study aimed to evaluate the concequence of variable sulfur source and dosing on the nutritional status and production of Piatã forage in a dystrophic Ultisol. The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized block design with four replications. The 4 x 5 factorial treatments consisted of four sulfur sources (elemental sulfur pastilles [ESPA], gypsum [GY], gypsite [GI], and elemental sulfur powder [ESPO]) and five sulfur doses (0, 50, 100, 150. and 200 mg kg-1). The sulfur applications resulted in similar maximum shoot dry mass (SDM) production (16.66 to 17.69 g pot-1) with all sources. However, Piatã grass achieved maximum production in the treatments with 112 mg kg-1 of GI, 118 mg kg-1 of GY and ESPA, and 146 mg kg-1 of ESPO. The number of tillers, the leaf:stem ratio, and SPAD increased with increasing sulfur dose. The greatest increments of root dry mass (RDM) and of the tiller number were obtained with the ESPO source. Macronutrient concentrations in shoot dry mass tissue were in the order K > N > Ca > P > S > Mg. Low sulfur supply resulted in decreased Piatã grass growth with all sulfur sources tested. Differential responses were found with applications of different sulfur sources for SDM, RDM, and tillers number. The sources did not alter the leaf:stem ratio or SPAD index.
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