An experiment was conducted in the agricultural year 2014/2015, aiming to evaluate the management of anticipated nitrogen fertilization, applied with a slow-release source in maize crop with two plant covers, in a Dystrophic Red Latosol. Matching the Oxisols in Soil Taxonomy and Ferralsols FAO/United States WRB (Unesco soil classification and the World Reference Base for Soil Resources. Pennisetum glaucus (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) and Raphanus sativus (Raphanus sativus L.) were used as green cover, keeping a fallow area. In the areas with vegetal cover, N was applied anticipatedly, during planting and in top-dressing, while in the fallow area it was applied during the planting process and in top-dressing. The treatments were distributed according to a random block design with four replicates. The anticipated N application was made 38 days before planting and top-dressing application 27 days after planting. Leaves were collected for foliar analysis during the tasselling stage of the plants. The harvest and threshing were done manually, and the grains were weighed. Grain yield and leaf N contents were evaluated. The maize crop responded to nitrogen fertilization regardless of the cover used. Nitrogen fertilization using a slow-release N source can be managed in an anticipated stage, without damaging crop yield.
Key words: Soil, slow-release nitrogen, Zea mays L.