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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENHANCEMENT OF POSTHARVEST QUALITY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AND EVALUATION OF COMMODITY TREATMENTS OF QUARANTINED PESTS Title: Foliar Potassium Improves Cantaloupe Marketable and Nutritional Quality

Authors
item Lester, Gene
item Jifon, John - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
item Stewart, W - IPNI GREAT PLAINS REGION

Submitted to: Better Crops
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: January 22, 2007
Publication Date: January 29, 2007
Citation: Lester, G.E., Jifon, J.L., Stewart, W.M. 2007. Foliar potassium improves cantaloupe marketable and nutritional quality. Better Crops. 91:24-25.

Interpretive Summary: Potassium (K) is important in optimizing both crop yield and quality. Root activity and K uptake are generally reduced during the reproductive phase of crop development. This study has shown that supplementing soil K with foliar K applications during cantaloupe fruit development and maturation can improve fruit quality by increasing firmness, sugar content, ascorbic acid, and beta-carotene levels.

Technical Abstract: Potassium (K) is needed to optimize both crop yield and quality. Roots, the sole source of K uptake, are poor suppliers of K during fruit crop production. This study has shown that supplementing optimal soil K with additional foliar K applications, superficially during cantaloupe fruit growth, can improve fruit quality by markedly increasing firmness, sugar content (increasing SSC to 11% equal to Fancy Grade) and important human health compounds: ascorbic acid and beta-carotene.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014