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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Alternatives to Methyl Bromide: Mitigation of the Threat from Exotic Tropical and Subtropical Insect Pests

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: The effects of control release fertilizer (CRF) on palm growth

Authors
item Fleurissaint, Angie -
item Reed, Stewart
item Jayachandran, Krish -
item Saunders, Jevon -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 31, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Nutri-Pak is a slow release fertilizer in a micro-pore polyethylene packet where moisture enters the packet through micro-pores located on both sides of the packet. Water dissolves the fertilizer and it slowly seeps through the same micro-pores as a vapor into the soil gradually providing nutrients to plants for a year. Nitrate in drinking water above 10 ppm may cause health problems to infants and pregnant women and adults with low stomach acidity. Low nutrient leaching is ideal because the fertilizer is not being washed away by irrigation which means it will remain in the soil longer providing nutrients for the palms. The principle objective of this study is to compare the nutrients levels in leachate samples of Nutri-Pak to other commonly used fertilizer products. The fertilizers used for this experiment includes Nutri-Pak (12-4-12), Harrell’s (controlled release 12-4-12), and Atlantic (8-4-12). Atlantic is the most commonly used palm fertilizer in south Florida, therefore it was used for comparisons. These fertilizers were applied to Chinese Fan (Livistona chinensis) and Queen (Syagrus romanzoffiana) palms based on each manufacturer’s recommendation. In order to measure the impact of fertilizer type on nutrient loss, leachate samples were collected after each scheduled irrigation. The average values for N, P and K leached from Nutri-Pak or Harrell’s were divided by values obtained from Atlantic for comparison. From pots containing Chinese Fans, Harrell’s lost 1.85 N, 2.59 P, and 1.88 K times that of Atlantic. Nutri-Pak lost 0.08 N, 0.67 P, and 0.07 K times that of Atlantic values. From Queen Palms, Harrell’s lost 2.52, 2.76, and 1.99 times the N, P and K, respectively. Nutri-Pak lost 0.06, 0.35, and 0.12 times the N, P and K, respectively. Subsequent leachate collections after 60 days indicated similar trends. The ICP analysis showed least amount of Ca2+, Cu2+, Fe2+, Mg2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+ from Nutri-Pak compared to Harrell and conventional fertilizers. Experiment is in progress further evaluating these fertilizer types for recommendations. In terms of nutrients lost with irrigation water moving through the pot, Nutri-Pak performed best.

Last Modified: 12/25/2014
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