Correlation between nutrient content and productivity in irrigated forages
Irregular rainfall can restrict crop development, so irrigation of pastures serves as a strategy to intensify grass-fed animal production systems. Due to the direct relationship between the availability of soil water and nutrients, the objective was to evaluate the nutrient content in forages irrigated by a central pivot system. This work was carried out in the experimental area of irrigated agriculture at the State University of Mato Grosso do Sul, in Aquidauana-MS, Brazil. The experiment was setup in a completely randomized design, with five replications, in subdivided plots. The treatments of the plots were irrigated and non-irrigated, and the treatments of the subplots were the forages Urochloa brizantha cv. Xaraes, Pennisetum purpureum cv. Napier, Panicum maximum cv. Mombasa and Urochloa ruziziensis cv. Ruziziensis. Foliar concentrations of the nutrients Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Sulfur (S), Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn) and Zinc (Zn) were evaluated. Statistical analyses performed included analysis of variance, Tukey test at p <0.05 and linear correlation matrix at p <0.05 and p <0.01 between nutrients and productivity. Irrigation results in higher levels of the macronutrients P, K and Mg, and Fe and Mn micronutrients in forages. The nutrients that correlated with productivity were P and Fe, which both presented negative correlation. The nutrients correlated better with each other than with forage productivity.