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Mineral nitrogen contents in cane-cropped vertisols of Sudan and Guadeloupe as influenced by urea application management

Brouwers M., Vassal-Courtaillac N., Osman A.A.. 2008. Proceedings of the Annual Congress of the South African Sugar Technologists' Association, 81 : p. 343-347. Annual Congress of the South African Sugar Technologists' Association (SASTA). 81, 2008-07-29/2008-07-31, Durban (Afrique du Sud).

To obtain high yields in sugarcane, there must be adequate mineral nitrogen (N) in the rooting zone of the crop. The effects of two methods of urea application management on soil mineral N levels in ratoon cane at two sites were measured and compared. Both experiment sites were on vertisols and received different irrigation practice. In Sudan (site S) cane is grown under furrow irrigation, and urea is broadcast and then buried on the rows by hilling up. In Guadeloupe (site G) cane is grown rainfed with complementary drip irrigation, and urea is broadcast on and near the cane rows. Site G results showed that, one week after urea application, all applied N was recovered in the topsoil. At site S, however, only 70% N was recovered. The results also revealed that at site S, where yield was higher, the amount of mineral N in the topsoil was at a higher level than the pre-application amount for a far longer period than at site G. Of the application methods tested, the best commercial practice to extend the time that mineral N is at an adequate level in the rooting zone, and thus enhancing cane yield, appears to be hillingup of the cane rows after broadcasting the urea. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : saccharum; guadeloupe; soudan

Thématique : Fertilité du sol; Fertilisation

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