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Title: Growth, Yield, and Physiology of Sugarcane as Affected by Soil and Foliar Application of Silicon on Organic and Mineral Soils

item SINGH, MANINDER - University Of Florida
item Zhao, Duli
item SANDHU, HARDEV - University Of Florida
item MCCRAY, MABRY - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Sugar Journal
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/13/2016
Publication Date: 6/13/2016
Citation: Singh, M., Zhao, D., Sandhu, H., Mccray, M. 2016. Growth, Yield, and Physiology of Sugarcane as Affected by Soil and Foliar Application of Silicon on Organic and Mineral Soils. Sugar Journal. 2016 79:28-29.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.), a Si accumulator plant, responds positively to application of Si in terms of cane and sucrose yield. However, data is limited on the response of sugarcane leaf physiology to Si application. Moreover, most of the published studies focused on soil (root) application with little information available on foliar application of Si, especially under FL conditions. A pot (size = 98 L) experiment was conducted at the Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade, FL during 2013-2015 to evaluate soil (pre-plant application of calcium silicate slag at 3 t/ac) and foliar (three post-plant applications of potassium silicate at biweekly intervals in plant and first-ratoon crop) application of Si on organic and mineral soils on “CP78-1628” sugarcane under natural conditions. Data were collected on early season stalk count, leaf level gas exchange parameters, SPAD, and final cane and sucrose yields for plant and first-ratoon crop. There was no significant Si application by soil type interaction in most variables measured during both years of the study. In plant crop, stalk number, stalk weight, and cane yield were significantly higher in organic compared to mineral soils, resulting in higher sucrose yield on organic soil. However, application of Si did not result in cane and sucrose yield improvement at P<0.05. In first ratoon crop, both cane and sucrose yields were higher in organic compared to mineral soils. Moreover, soil application of Si resulted in significant sucrose yield improvement over foliar application; the latter was not different than no Si application. Leaf photosynthesis did not respond to either root or foliar application of Si or soil type for plant cane crop, however leaf transpiration rate was lower on mineral compared to organic soil. Leaf SPAD readings were higher in organic compared to mineral soil but did not differ between Si application treatments. Resulted indicated positive impact of soil application of Si but limited potential of foliar Si application for improved growth and yield of sugarcane in Florida. ARS - 115