Diagnosing and Mapping the Need for Soil Improvement in Brazil
Brazil has lacked the data for creating a soil fertility survey that could be used for assessing if any nutritional factors are limiting crop yields in the region. The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Brazil Program partnered with the Agronomic Institute of Campinas and São Paulo State University to collect and produce a soil fertility survey, starting with the state of São Paulo.
The survey revealed that 88% of the soil samples analyzed in São Paulo are classified between “very low” and “medium” for phosphorus, according to the “Research with Impact” series conducted by IPNI. For potassium, 81% of the soil samples were in this same range. This demonstrates the great potential for improving crop yields by amending fields with the proper application of nutrients. A summary of soil pH analyses shows that 30% of the soil samples are extremely acidic and that crops growing in these fields would show a high yield response to the application of lime. Crops cannot effectively recover applied nutrients when their growth is limited by low soil pH.
Maps were created to visually represent the extent of the nutrient and acidity problems. These maps are arranged by municipality to provide local information for identifying areas most likely to benefit from additions of fertilizer and lime.