Assessing the Content of Micronutrients in Soils and Sugarcane in Different Pedogeological Contexts of Northeastern Brazil
Micronutrients in soils, sugarcane plants, and pedogeological contexts are linked.
Manganese is the micronutrient most limiting the productivity of the studied soils.
Micronutrients are related to the natural chemical contribution of the parent materials.
Micronutrients zonation based in geological context is feasible in Northeast Brazil.
Micronutrient research for sugarcane in northeastern Brazil is scarce and most works on this issue date back to the 70’s and 80’s. The objectives of this study were to assess the available and reserve pools of Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn in soils cultivated with sugarcane under three geological contexts in northeastern Brazil as well as to diagnose the micronutrient nutritional status of sugarcane grown on these areas in order to identify pedogeological conditions in which micronutrient deficiencies are likely. Results showed that the soils cultivated with sugarcane in the states of Paraíba and Pernambuco posed available and reserve contents of micronutrients related to the parent materials and soil textural classes. The reserve contents of Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu in all the soil samples analyzed were below the background values established for the region, which indicates a continuous exportation of micronutrients through cultivation. The mean and median contents of Mn, Zn, and Cu in diagnostic leaves of sugarcane were below their respective nutritional optimum ranges recommended to Brazil while Fe contents achieved the crop nutritional requirement. This is the first time such an approach based on pedogeological contexts is used to study the available and reserve pools of micronutrients in soils of Northeast Brazil.