Fate of granular versus liquid fertilisers applied to soil leaching columns

Pittaway, P. and Melland, A. and Celotto, G. and Dowie, J. and Shannon, G. and Di Bella, L (2016) Fate of granular versus liquid fertilisers applied to soil leaching columns. International Sugar Journal, 118 (1408). pp. 2-6. ISSN 0020-8841


Anecdotal reports from cane growers using a liquid fertiliser formulation at planting in North Queensland, indicate plant establishment is improved relative to granular products. However, some growers perceive liquid formulations are more prone to leaching, with insufficient residual fertiliser available to meet plant demand over the first 12 to 16 weeks prior to re-application. Soil from one of three plant cane field trials established in the Herbert and Tully regions in 2014 was selected for a glasshouse leaching trial to compare the fate of N, P and K in commercial fertilisers applied in liquid or granular formulations on Day 1 and 18 weeks later. The high concentration of muriate of potash in the granular formulation applied at planting inhibited emergence at two field sites, and inhibited nitrification in the leaching columns. Phosphorus and nitrate in the first liquid formulation were more immediately available, which may have stimulated emergence in the field. The lower concentration of N, P and K in the liquid formulation applied to the field trials at planting was sufficient to sustain plant cane for the first 12 to 16 weeks. Contrary to grower perception, the risk of nitrate leaching was greatest for the granular fertiliser treatments. This may be due to the higher concentration of N, P and K applied in the second liquid formulation,and the microbial slow release (immobilisation) of fertiliser N induced by the inclusion of molasses in the formulation.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2017 05:50
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2017 06:02
Uncontrolled Keywords: polyphosphate, osmotic suction, nitrogen immobilisation, plant cane
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl. Carbon Sequestration Science)
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079902 Fertilisers and Agrochemicals (incl. Application)
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820304 Sugar
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8298 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production > 829899 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30869

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