Sugar Tech

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 71–82 | Cite as

Sugarcane Productivity as a Function of Nitrogen Fertilization and Inoculation with Diazotrophic Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria

  • Willian Pereira
  • Jailson Silva Sousa
  • Nivaldo Schultz
  • Veronica Massena ReisEmail author
Research Article


Sugarcane ratoons respond to nitrogen fertilizer application, but the N efficiency is low. Diazotrophs applied as a growth promoter bacterium can influence crop yield by several mechanisms, including a greater root growth and higher N absorption. The objective of the present work was to evaluate the stalk and sugar yields, and the economic index of sugarcane as a function of nitrogen fertilization and inoculation with diazotrophic plant growth-promoting bacteria (DPGPB). Two experiments were implemented in areas of two sugarcane mills in the state of São Paulo, Brazil: one in the Diamante Mill and one in the Santa Helena Mill. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with four N-fertilizer doses (0, 50, 100 and 150 kg ha−1), with or without DPGPB inoculation using five replicates. The application of the inoculant promoted a productivity increase in the Diamante Mill for all treatments with N, even in the absence of N-fertilization, while at the Santa Helena Mill that occurred with the 50 kg ha−1 dosage. The inoculation with DPGPB, together with the application of the 50 kg N ha−1 dose, achieved the highest economic return at both mills. The application of the inoculant associated with a low dose of N-fertilizer was profitable and proven feasible for field application. The results evidenced the viability of the technology for sugarcane production, with gains in productivity and a possible reduction in nitrogen fertilization.


Inoculant Diazotrophic bacteria Growth promotion Sustainability 



This research was supported by The Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel—CAPES and to the Fundação Carlos Chagas de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro—FAPERJ; for the authors fellowships. To the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development—CNPq—[grant numbers 470824/2013-1 and INCT 456133/2014-2]. Authors would like to thank the Diamante and Santa Helena Mills were the experiments were conducted.


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© Society for Sugar Research & Promotion 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro - Field StationRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Embrapa AgrobiologiaRio de JaneiroBrazil

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