Critical Phosphorus Levels for Corn and Cowpea in a Brazilian Amazon Oxisol
- T. J. Smyth and
- M. S. Cravo
Phosphorus soil test interpretations in the Brazilian Amazon currently do not account for differences in P requirements among crops and lack information on the changes in available soil P per unit of applied fertilizer P. A long-term P experiment in a Xanthic Hapludox near Manaus, Brazil was used to determine soil and leaf P critical levels for corn (Zea mays L.) and cow pea (Vigna unguiculata L.). A total of six corn crops were planted in annual rotation with five crops of cowpea during five consecutive years. Critical levels were established by a segmented linear regression, a linear plateau, of relative crop yields on soil test or leaf P concentrations for each crop species. Mehlich 1 (1:10) critical P levels were 6 and 8 mg kg−1 for corn and cowpea, respectively. Relationships between soil test P and crop yields were similar for fertilizer P placement as either broadcast and/or frequent bands. Fertilizer P required to raise the initial Mehlich 1 soil P to the critical levels were 41 and 60 kg P ha−1 for corn and cowpea, respectively. Higher amounts of P were extracted by Bray 1 than by Mehlich 1, but both extractants were effective in relating available soil P to yield and applied fertilizer P. Critical foliar P concentrations for corn and cowpea were 1.6 and 1.8 g kg−1, respectively. Higher soil and leaf P critical levels for cowpea relative to corn were attributed to greater P requirements for plants depending on symbiotic N2 fixation for their N supply.
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