Profitability of fertilization at establishment of Eucalyptus globulus plantations

Resumen:
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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