Chemical and technological attributes of sugarcane as functions of organomineral fertilizer based on filter cake or sewage sludge as organic matter sources

PLoS One. 2021 Dec 15;16(12):e0236852. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0236852. eCollection 2021.


Sugarcane is one of the main alternative sources of biomass for the biofuel sector, and its large-scale production has considerable environmental impact. Organomineral fertilizers formulated with potential environmental contaminants, such as filter cake and sewage sludge, positively influence plant growth and development. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the chemical and physical characteristics of sugarcane fertilized with pelletized organomineral fertilizers based on filter cake or sewage sludge. Eight field treatments were applied, based on three organomineral fertilizer compositions (50%, 100%, and 150%) associated with two organic matter (OM) sources (filter cake or sewage sludge), in addition to a control with 100% mineral fertilizer application, and a no-fertilization control (0%). Sugarcane attributes were evaluated during two consecutive harvests. The weights of stalks per hectare (ton ha-1), sugarcane productivity (ton ha-1), quantity of sugar per hectare (TSH, ton ha-1), and physicochemical properties of sugarcane juice (pol [%], Brix [%], purity [%], and fiber [%]) were evaluated. There were no significant differences in the attributes between OM sources or organomineral fertilization treatments and the exclusive mineral fertilization. The organomineral fertilizer application rate recommended for maximum quantitative and qualitative sugarcane in the first sugarcane harvest was between 2 and 9% above the regular recommendation for mineral fertilizer, regardless of the OM source. In the second harvest, the sewage sludge source increased total sugar and sugarcane per hectare by 4.68 and 4.19%, respectively, compared to the sugarcane filter cake source. Sewage sludge and sugarcane filter cake are viable alternatives for organomineral composition and could improve economic returns and minimize negative environmental impacts in sugarcane cultivation systems.

PMID:34910729 | PMC:PMC8673670 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0236852


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