Effects of fertilization with vinasse in mixture with nitrogen sources

The vinasse is a byproduct of the distillation of ethanol, which because of its potassium content is used by mills with distilleries in place of KCl, a high-cost imported fertilizer.

The vinasse is a byproduct of the distillation of ethanol, which because of its potassium content is used by mills with distilleries in place of KCl, a high-cost imported fertilizer.

The vinasse (V) is a source of organic matter, minor elements and other organic substances that act as a substrate for the microorganisms that inhabit the soil. A common practice in the sugarcane production system is to apply the vinegar in admixture with a nitrogen source, usually urea.

With the aim of evaluating the effect that the application of vinasse mixed with a nitrogen source (N) has on crop productivity, Cenicaña carried out an experiment at the Delirios del Ingenio Risaralda farm, where the results in TCH and TAH were compared of different mixtures and at different times of application.

Experiment Features

  • Agroecological zone: 5H5.
  • Variety: CC 01-1940.
    Nitrogen sources: urea (U), UAN solution and liquid ammonium nitrate (NAL).
  • Treatments:
    to. Individual application of the following mixtures: V + U / V + UAN / V + NAL, each of them 45 days after sowing (DDS) for template or 45 days after cutting (DDC) for socas.
    b. Application of V immediately after sowing (IDS) and application of U 45 DDS for template or 45 DDC for soca.
    c. V + U IDS application for the V + U template and application immediately after cutting (IDC) in the soca.



    • The mixture of V + UAN at 45 DDS produced 12.1 TCH more than V + U applied 45 DDS or V + NAL applied 45 DDS.
    • The V + U IDS application produced 20 TCH more than the V IDS + U application at 45 DDS.
  • In terms of TAH, the V + UAN mixture produced 2.5 TAH more than the V + U treatment.
  • The V + U IDS mixture produced 2.94 TAH more than the V IDS + U 45 DDS treatment.

First soca:

      • The V + UAN and V + NAL mixtures applied 45 DDC produced 13.6 TCH more than the V + U 45 DDC mixture.
      • The V + U IDC mixture produced 24.9 TCH more than the treatment with the V IDC + U at 45 DDC.

  • When assessing TAH, it was observed that V + UAN 45 DDC and V + NAL 45 DDC produced 2.6 TAH more than V + U 45 DDC.
  • The V + U IDC produced 2.5 TAH more than the V IDC + U 45 DDC.
CO emission measurement2 from the ground with IRGA equipment.


  • Under the conditions of the experimental site, the mixture of vinasse + UAN applied at 45 DDS produced a significant increase in the productivity of the CC 01-1940 variety: from 12.0 TCH to 13.6 TCH and from 2.5 TAH to 2.6 TAH during the workforce and First soca
  • The variety CC 01-1940 showed a relatively good productivity in wet soil conditions, with TCH between 145 and 183 and TAH between 16 and 24.
  • It was observed that the vinasse may be acting as a promoter of the biological activity of the soil, which possibly favors processes such as nitrogen fixation by the plant, making soluble elements such as phosphorus so that the plant can take them more easily or promote Root growth, among others.
    The results obtained suggest that by synchronizing the applications of V or V + N with the period of greatest absorption of N from the crop, the use of the vinasse as a fertilizer can be optimized.
  • To confirm the hypothesis of the increase in microbiological activity due to the effect of the application of vinasse, soil respiration was measured (CO emission2) after the application of vinasse alone, V + N and a control without application (Ct). This experiment showed that soil respiration grew nine times a second day after the application of vinasse, indicating an increase in microbial activity. Subsequently, after twelve days, the soil respiration returned to values ​​similar to those at the beginning of the experiment.


Cenicaña began this year a research project in order to study the effect of vinaza + N applications at different times during the development of the crop: from the template to the second soca.


FERNANDO MUÑOZ A. Soil scientist, Agronomy Program - Cenicaña.

Information letter
3 Year / 1 Number / July of 2015

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