Yield and morphology of Nopalea cochenillifera under N fertilization and biological inoculation
State University of Southwest of Bahia, BR45700-000, Itapetinga, Bahia, Brazil
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The objective was to evaluate the effect of inoculation with Azospirillum brasilense and levels of nitrogen fertilization on the productive aspects of the spineless cactus (Nopalea cochenillifera). The experiment was carried in Ribeirão do Largo, Southwest region of the state of Bahia, from April 2019 to April 2020. The experiment was carried out in a 2×4 factorial, in a randomized block design with eight treatments and four replications. The treatments consisted of the absence or inoculation with Azospirillum brasilense and nitrogen fertilization levels 0, 50, 100 and 150 kg–¹ of N ha–¹. There was a positive effect for the use of the bacteria on cladode area index, height, number of secondary, tertiary and total cladodes, total weight for cladodes of all orders and also for final weight per ha–¹. There was a significant effect of the use of the inoculant for the levels of total soluble sugars and starch, where there was a decrease in the values for the treatments submitted to the use of the bacteria. There was a quadratic effect for the weight of the tertiary cladodes, number of tertiary cladodes and total of spineless cactus when submitted to nitrogen fertilization levels. There was a linear test for cladodes area index when nitrogen fertilization was used. The use of Azospirillum brasilense is positive for the cultivation of spineless cactus, improving development and increasing crop productivity.