High-yield fertilization strategies make it possible to shorten production gaps :: Campo Litoral

Fertilize presented the results of its Fertilization Strategies Network in a field on May 25, where barley, corn, soybeans and wheat were grown in rotation, aiming at high yields. An example of the environmental and economic sustainability of the system.

In the El Sosiego establishment, in the Buenos Aires party of May 25, where in 2016 a trial began within the framework of the Nutrition Strategies Network of Fertilize Civil Association, the results achieved in production and sustainability of the system were presented. .

Fertilizar’s executive manager, María Fernanda González Sanjuan, highlighted the importance of showing these results since it is “an important year to do things with precision.”

The entity’s technical advisor, Andrés Grasso, made an introduction to the work of 6 campaigns. “We saw that the problem was not that the producer does not fertilize, but that in general he does it only with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in low average doses and today there is a quantity of nutrients that the crops need due to the deficiency of the Argentine soils “.

With this premise, Fertilizar AC began the work dividing the lots to establish 4 management strategies: an unfertilized plot (control); the 2nd replicating the frequent management that the producer does (applying N and P); the 3rd with an adjusted recommendation (according to soil analysis, adding sulfur? S -) and a 4th pointing to high yields (balanced fertilization with N, P, S and Zinc? Zn -).

The field is located at the beginning of the so-called ‘sandy west’ of Buenos Aires, and the owner, the agronomist Alejandro Alegre, carried out the following sequence of crops in 5 campaigns: barley, 2nd grade corn, soybeans, wheat, corn and soybeans .

In that period, the accumulated crops (adding the result of all crops) was 18.8 tn / ha in the control; it increased to 24.3 tn / ha in the lot with frequent management; in the batch with nutrient applications from a diagnosis it jumped to 29.6 tn / ha. Finally, in the sequence of 6 years of crops, the sum of 33 tn / ha was reached in the lot in which fertilizer applications were made with doses that maximize yields.

“What nutrition provides is almost double between control and high yields. While between frequent handling (with N and P) and high yields are around 8,000 kilos of difference”. In percentages, the yield gap when improving nutrient supply is up to 30% between frequent and high-yield handling.

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Grasso pointed out that “with the current use of fertilizers, the agricultural producer currently manages to appropriate a significant portion of the yield and improves yields by up to 22%.” But he emphasized that “he could earn 16% more on average” if he faces a high-tech management that aims to achieve high yields. “We must think about the productive system,” he reinforced. And he remarked that the best results “give the producer a greater margin of maneuver in the management of nutrition, mainly in years like the current one, where it is important to be precise due to the current context in the prices of inputs.”

The quality of the resource

The presentation of the 5-year results also made it possible to measure what happened with N – (a “very mobile” nutrient in the soil) in the management of the highest doses. That is, to know if the plant really took it or if it went to the atmosphere or to the groundwater, generating in the last two cases unwanted environmental impacts.

It was recorded that in the first 40 cm of the soil there is an enrichment of N (6 ppm, between 10 and 15 kg / ha); while in depth there are no differences between the most fertilized plot and the one that does not have N added. “We are calm, although this must be monitored every year,” said Grasso.

Regarding phosphorus (P), since a replacement management is carried out, what the grain extracts is similar to what the fertilizer provides. “We are enriching the phosphate fertility of the field.” Hence, the technician recommended investing in phosphate fertilizers whenever the product has affordable prices.


In turn, the INTA 9 de Julio specialist, Luis Ventimiglia, responsible for the trial in El Sosiego, recalled that fertilization has a chemical, physical and biological sequence. “We emphasize only chemistry, but now you have to get used to looking at physics and biology so that the former can express itself more.”

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Ventimiglia showed that “when the oxygen is not enough or when the roots cannot develop or the nodulation is not adequate, there is a question of lack of identification of the problem and ends in a lower yield”. “Isolated practices are no more,” he concluded.

In the same sense, he stressed that the “most expensive” resource in agriculture is water and recalled that “the efficiency of water use in the fallow increases more than 30% if there are no nutritional restrictions at the beginning of the crop. If not has that resource, the system is not sustainable. “

“Conceptually throughout the region and for all crops, leaving the average management and seeking an exceptional condition of the crop gives sustainability to the sequence,” defined Díaz Zorita.

Field demonstration of fertilizer application

75% of fertilizer applications in Argentina are broadcast, according to the statistics presented by Víctor Merani and Matilde Mur, from the Faculty of Agronomy of the National University of La Plata, who made recommendations to improve the placement of the fertilizer.

First of all, the “density” of the fertilizer to be applied must be taken into account. For example, a grain of urea weighs between 0.72-0.73 grams per liter; while calcareous ammonium nitrate (CAN) is 1,100 grams per liter. “This implies that you have to modify the volume in the fertilizer to apply the 100 kg that are required.”

The producer must also demand that the grains be “uniform” and must know their “hardness”. “The harder they are, the greater the resistance at the moment of the blow of the paddle of the fertilizer and thus it will reach greater distances”. In the case of urea, a CAN can reach 35 meters and 43 meters. “The smaller grains have a shorter flight,” they remarked during the day.

“It should be noted that working with adequate doses of nutrients is very important, as is choosing the correct source. But all this effort can be diluted when we do not place it correctly,” concluded the specialists.


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