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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Morris, Dolen
item Glaz, Barry
item Powell, Gerald
item Deren, Christopher
item Snyder, George
item Perdomo, Raul
item Ulloa, Modesto

Submitted to: Journal of Plant Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/17/2004
Publication Date: 9/16/2005
Citation: Morris, D.R., Glaz, B.S., Powell, G., Deren, C.W., Snyder, G.H., Perdomo, R., Ulloa, M.F. 2005. Leaf phosphorus diagnosis of sugarcane in organic soils. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 2005. 28:1511-1523.

Interpretive Summary: Sugarcane is grown mostly on organic soils in south Florida. Phosphorus is an essential plant nutrient for high sugarcane yields, but producers are required to reduce P levels in water ways. One way to monitor P uptake in sugarcane is through leaf diagnosis. The objective of this study was to determine the best time to leaf sample during the summer months and to relate optimum leaf P tissue content and yield. A 3-year field study was conducted on four organic soil locations in south Florida. An 8 by 3 factorial experimental design with four replications was used at each location with eight sugarcane (interspecific hybrids of Saccharum sp.) genotypes in combination with three fertilizer P rates (0, 24, and 48 kg P ha-1). Upper-most fully expanded leaves were sampled in early, mid, and late summer prior to three harvests (plant cane, first ratoon, and second ratoon). Even though sugarcane yields increased with increased P fertilizer rates at three location, there was no consistent pattern relating leaf P tissue content with yields.

Technical Abstract: Most of the sugarcane production in Florida is on organic soils. Supplemental P fertilizer is often required for optimum yields, but producers are required to reduce P levels in water ways. The objectives of this study were to relate optimum leaf P tissue content with yield, and to determine optimum leaf sampling dates during the summer. An eight (sugarcane genotypes) by three (0, 24, and 48 kg fertilizer P ha-1) factorial field experiment was conducted for 3 yr at four organic soil locations. Leaves directly below the upper-most fully expanded leaves were sampled in early, mid, and late summer. There was no response to P fertilizer at one location, two locations had optimum cane yield with supplemental P at 24 kg P ha-1, and the fourth location had the highest cane yields at 48 kg P ha-1. Correlation analyses of yield vs. leaf P content across all treatments in early and mid summer were statistically significant (P < 0.05), but coefficients were very low r = 0.14 and 0.26, respectively). No consistent relationship across locations described the effect of leaf P tissue content on yield. Leaf samples should be taken in early season.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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