Profitability of fertilization at establishment of Eucalyptus globulus plantations

Application of fertilizers in plantations of Eucalyptus globulus Labill plantations is essential for increasing productivity. Thus, the economic feasibility of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer dosage at establishment was determined in a five-year-old plantation in coastal sector of the VIII Region of Chile. The treatments (T) were T1 (N50P50); T2 (N100P100); T3 (N200P100; T4 (N200P200); T5 (N300P200); T6 (N300P400); T7 (N300P400 + K2O), T8 (N300P400 + FGC; and a control TO (NOPO). The variables projected to the age of harvest were volumetric growth of the trees and profitability (net present value, NPV; internal rate of return, IRR; potential land value, PLV). Significant differences (p <= 0.05; Tukey) were found for all of the variables studied. The best treatments in volumetric growth at harvest were T3 and T8. As for profitability, the best NPV values were US$ 717 ha(-1) and US$530 ha(-1) for T3 and T1, where the fertilization produced an increase of US $415 ha(-1) and US$ 228 ha(-1). It is concluded that applying low dosages of fertilization (T3 and T1), increases in productivity and profitability of the crop are achieved; but increasing fertilization dosages would decrease profitability.

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