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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #322600

Research Project: New Crop and Soil Management Systems to Improve Sugarcane Production Efficiency

Location: Sugarcane Research

Title: Sugarcane yields do not respond to phosphorus fertilizer in ratoon crops of LCP 85-384 in Louisiana

Author
item Johnson, Richard
item VIATOR, HOWARD - LSU Agcenter
item STEVENS, JAY - LSU Agcenter
item TURBANA, BRENDA - LSU Agcenter

Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/17/2015
Publication Date: 4/14/2017
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5763043
Citation: Johnson, R.M., Viator, H.P., Stevens, J.C., Turbana, B.S. 2017. Sugarcane yields do not respond to phosphorus fertilizer in ratoon crops of LCP 85-384 in Louisiana. Journal of American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 37:1-12.

Interpretive Summary: The effects of phosphorus fertilizer on sugarcane yields and soil properties were evaluated at seven locations in Louisiana. Five rates of phosphorus fertilizer were applied to first-, second- and third-ratoon commercial sugarcane fields in Louisiana. Soil samples were collected prior to fertilizer application and after harvest, sugarcane leaf samples were collected in July and all plots were harvested in the fall to determine cane and sugar yields. Our results demonstrated that phosphorus fertilizer did not show a consistent positive influence on cane or sugar yields. Soil properties data showed that significant increases in soil phosphorus levels did occur in the surface layer (0-15 cm), but not deeper within the soil profile (15-30 cm). Small increases in plant phosphorus were observed but were only significant for one rate (average over locations). These combined data suggest that there is no justification for the application of phosphorus fertilizer to 'LCP 85-384' in Louisiana, because this variety does not respond to phosphorus fertilizer. Additional research should be conducted to evaluate the phosphorus response of newly released varieties, as they may respond more favorably to phosphorus fertilizer.

Technical Abstract: The effects of phosphorus fertilizer on sugarcane (interspecific hybrids of Saccharum Spp. cv. 'LCP 85-384') yield components and soil properties were evaluated at seven locations in Louisiana. Five rates of phosphorus fertilizer (0 - 84 kg P2O5 ha-1) were applied to first-, second- and third-ratoon commercial sugarcane fields in Louisiana. Soil samples were collected prior to fertilizer application and after harvest and sugarcane leaf samples were collected in July. All experimental plots were harvested with a single row, chopper harvester and a field transport wagon equipped with electronic load sensors to determine cane and sugar yields and juice quality was determined from a random cane sample from each plot. Our results demonstrated that phosphorus fertilizer did not show a consistent positive influence on cane or sugar yields. Soil properties data showed that significant increases in soil phosphorus levels did occur in the surface layer (0-15 cm), but not deeper within the soil profile (15-30 cm). Small increases in plant phosphorus were observed but were only significant for one rate (average over locations). These combined data suggest that there is no justification for the application of phosphorus fertilizer to 'LCP 85-384' in Louisiana. Although, it is possible that different results would be obtained if higher levels of soil phosphorus were applied, it is more likely that 'LCP 85-384' does not respond to phosphorus fertilizer. Additional research should be conducted to evaluate the phosphorus response of newly released varieties, as they may respond more favorably to phosphorus fertilizer.