Bone meal as a source of phosphorus for forage sugarcane1

ABSTRACT Phosphate fertilizers of organic origin may represent a viable alternative for the replacement of mineral fertilizers in the nutrition of crops such as forage sugarcane. This study aimed to investigate the effects of phosphate fertilization with bone meal and single superphosphate on the concentration of phosphorus (P) in the plant tissue, total soluble solids and yield aspects of forage sugarcane. A complete randomized block design was used, in a 2 × 5 factorial scheme, with four replicates. The treatments consisted of combining two phosphorus sources (single superphosphate and bone meal) and five P2O5 doses (0 kg ha-1, 50 kg ha-1, 100 kg ha-1, 150 kg ha-1 and 200 kg ha-1). Sugarcane plants fertilized with the addition of bone meal showed an increase in height and number of nodes (13 % and 15 %, respectively), when compared to the mineral fertilization with single superphosphate. The sugarcane attributes, in response to the P2O5 doses, were described by quadratic functions. The dose of 95.80 kg ha-1 of P2O5 in the bone meal led to the highest concentration of P in the plant tissue (3.60 g kg-1). The comparison between the sources of P at the doses of 100 kg ha-1 and 150 kg ha-1 of P2O5 showed that the total soluble solids content was 8.62 % and 13.84 % higher, respectively, in plants fertilized with bone meal.