Effect of liming on the nutritional conditions and yield of alfalfa grown in tropical conditions

A. Moreira, N. K. Fageria, A. Garcia Y Garcia

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    18 Scopus citations


    Alfalfa is one of the most demanding crops in terms of soil fertility. Limestone application is an efficient method of increasing the alfalfa crop yield. This study evaluates the effect of liming on the soil fertility and consequent nutritional state and shoot dry weight yield of alfalfa (Medicago sativa cv. 'Crioula'), grown in pots containing Typic Quartzipisamment soil (savanna phase), in a completely randomized experimental design with repeated measurements over time (cross sections), in two cuttings, with four replicates. The treatments consisted of four limestone rates (0, 3.8, 6.6 and 10.3 t ha1). The results showed that the greatest estimated shoot dry weight yield in first and second cuttings were obtained with estimated rate of 6.4 t ha1 and 9.0 t ha1. The root yield and nitrogen (N) concentration in the nodules was directly related to the soil acidity. In alfalfa, it is necessary at each cutting to closely follow of nutritional state of plants. In tropical edaphoclimatic conditions, the calcium (Ca) saturation in the cation exchange capacity (CEC) to obtain the highest productivity is lower than the values indicated as adequate for soils in temperate climates.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1107-1119
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Plant Nutrition
    Issue number8
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


    • Limestone
    • Medicago sativa
    • Nodulation
    • Nutrients uptake
    • Soil acidity

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