The water extracted from the shale rock (shale water) through the pyrolysis process to obtain fuel oil and other products shows a composition based on organic compounds and a wide range of minerals and trace elements with an important role in plant nutrition, suggesting its use as a fertilizer. Thus, the influence of foliar application of shale water (SW), with or without the micronutrients zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), boro (B) and molybdenum (Mo), was evaluated regarding yield and quality of maize grains. The yield, the total antioxidant activity, and the content of starch, phenolic compounds and carotenoids were improved in maize grains following the application of three doses of 7 L/ha of SW, which indicates that SW may influence the primary and secondary metabolisms. The application of SW with micronutrients resulted in the increase of grain yield; however, did not result in the improvement of grain quality. The foliar fertilizer formulations also had an influence in the content of minerals and aminoacids of the grain. The results indicate that SW has potential to be used in agriculture to improve yield and quality of maize.
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