Effects of superficial liming and silicate application on soil fertility and crop yield under rotation

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Soil acidity and low natural fertility are the main problems for grain production in Brazilian 'cerrado'. Although lime has been the most applied source for soil correction, silicate may be an alternative material due to its lower solubility and Si supply, which is beneficial to several crops. This work aimed to evaluate the efficiency of superficial liming and calcium/magnesium silicate application on soil chemical attributes, plant nutrition, yield components and final yield of a soybean/white oat/maize/bean rotation under no-tillage system in a dry-winter region. The experiment was conducted under no tillage system in a deep acid clayey Rhodic Hapludox, Botucatu-SP, Brazil. The design was the completely randomized block with sixteen replications. Treatments consisted of two sources for soil acidity correction (dolomitic lime: ECC=90%, CaO=36% and MgO=12%; calcium/magnesium silicate: ECC=80%, CaO=34%, MgO=10% and SiO2=22%) applied in October 2006 to raise base saturation up to 70% and a control, with no soil correction. Soybean and white oat were sown in 2006/2007 as the main crop and off-season, respectively. Maize and bean were cropped in the next year (2007/2008). Products from silicate dissociation reach deeper soil layers after 18months from the application, compared to liming. Additionally, silicate is more efficient than lime to increasing phosphorus availability and reducing toxic aluminum. Such benefits in soil chemical attributes were only evidenced during bean cropping, when grain yield was higher after silicate application comparatively to liming. Both correction sources were improved mineral nutrition of all the other crops, mainly Ca and Mg levels and agronomical characteristics, reflecting in higher yield. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.




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Geoderma, v. 195-196, p. 234-242.

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