Modeling in the Adjustment of Fertilization Recommendation through Leaf Analysis in Fertigated ‘Prata’ Banana
In banana cultivation, fertilization recommendations are almost exclusively based on soil chemical analysis, without considering leaf analysis and expected yield, which can help in the adjustment of fertilization programs. The aim of this study was to develop a method to recommend macronutrient fertilization rates which integrates data on leaf analysis, soil chemical analysis, and yield. Yield, soil chemical analysis, and leaf analysis data of fertigated plantations of ‘Prata’ banana were obtained for the first and second halves of the years from 2010 to 2015. Yield was correlated with soil organic matter (SOM) and soil contents of macronutrients (P, K, Ca, and Mg) to obtain the critical level (CLNui). Then, leaf nutrient contents were plotted on a dispersion graph as a function of soil contents using the method of Quadrant Diagram of the Plant-Soil Relationship (QDpsR). Based on leaf analysis, recommended rates were simulated for four plots and compared with rates recommended by other methods. The values of CLNui obtained were 13.2 g dm−3for SOM; 97.5 and 91.5 mg dm−3for P and K; and 2.71 and 0.61 cmolc dm−3for Ca2+and Mg2+. The rates recommended based on leaf analysis diverged from the recommendations of Ferticalc®-Bananeira and the Recommendation Table for Banana Fertilization; in plots for which recommendations were made, there were higher rates of P2O5 and Ca and lower rates of K2O. However, in most cases, applications were not recommended, either because contents in leaves and soil were adequate or because yield was being limited by non-nutritional factors or, if nutritional, related to other nutrient(s). Leaf analysis satisfactorily adjusts the recommended rates of nutrients and has advantages if incorporated in nutritional balance models.