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Title: Sorghum response to foliar application of phosphorus and potassium with saline water irrigation

item Hussein, M
item Abd El-kader, A
item Kady, K
item Youssef, R
item Alva, Ashok

Submitted to: Journal of Crop Improvement
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/7/2010
Publication Date: 12/1/2010
Citation: Hussein, M.M., Abd El-Kader, A.A., Kady, K.A., Youssef, R.A., Alva, A.K. 2010. Sorghum Response to Foliar Application of Phosphorus and Potassium with Saline Water Irrigation. Journal of Crop Improvement. 24:324-336.

Interpretive Summary: Competition for limited source of fresh water usage for agriculture, urban, and industrial purposes are resulting in scarcity of fresh water for agriculture. This lead to the need for evaluation of possible use of poor quality water, such as mild saline water, for crop irrigation. Increasing salinity of irrigation water (2500/or 5000 ppm) as compared to tap water (253 ppm salinity) resulted in decreased sorghum plant growth, and various plant tissue parameters. However, foliar application of phosphorus and potassium was effective in overcoming, to some extent, the negative effects of salinity.

Technical Abstract: Increasing demand for fresh water resources for urban and industrial uses is leading to limited availability of better quality water for crop irrigation. Therefore, crop response to poor quality irrigation water (ex: saline water), and strategies to mitigate the negative effects of poor quality irrigation water need to be investigated. A greenhouse experiment was conducted in the National Research Centre, Dokki , Cairo, Egypt during the 2005 summer to evaluate the effects of different salt concentrations (tap water as control, seawater diluted to attain salinity levels of 2500 and 5000 ppm) and potassium (K) and phosphorus (P) foliar application (0, 50, and 100 ppm as potassium dihydrogen phosphate) on the growth, grain yield, chemical composition, and anatomical features of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) plants. Increasing irrigation water salinity decreased plant growth characteristics as well as the length and width of the vascular bundles, diameter of xylem vessels, and thickness of leaf blade mesophyl. Foliar application of P and K mitigated some of the negative effects of salinity on plant growth, and increased the concentrations of these nutrients in the leaves and grain.