Bananas and mangoes: fertiliser and ground cover management to benefit production, soil and the environment

Nelson, Paul, Dickinson, Geoff, Pattison, Tony, Masters, Bronwyn, Armour, John, and Weinert, Matt (2015) Bananas and mangoes: fertiliser and ground cover management to benefit production, soil and the environment. In: Abstracts from TropAg2015, pp. 182-183. From: TropAg 2015: Tropical Agriculture Conference: meeting the productivity challenge in the Tropics, 16-18 November 2015, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Bananas are the number one selling item in Australia's supermarkets, and had a farm-gate value of $600 million in 2014. Mangoes, another important crop for domestic markets and for export, had a farm-gate value of $140 million in 2014. In both industries, fertiliser management, especially nitrogen, is critical for production, but there is little information on optimum rates and application practices. Furthermore, there are concerns that current management practices negatively impact on soil health and the Great Barrier Reef due to losses of nutrients to the environment.

Here we report on current grower participatory field evaluations of new fertiliser and ground cover management practices and their effects on crop productivity, soil condition (physical, chemical and biological) and greenhouse gas emissions. For bananas, current farmer nutrient management is being compared with a reduced nitrogen rate, with and without the nitrification inhibitor ENTEC® (3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate). For mangoes, current farmer nutrient management is being compared with ENTEC®-treated and polymer-coated nitrogen fertiliser, all at the same rate. In all cases the nitrogen fertiliser is urea.The ground cover treatments compare the dominant current practice (bare soil) with added mulch in mangoes or living ground cover in bananas. In the first season of the trials, growth of bananas did not differ significantly between the fertiliser treatments, although reduced nitrogen rate led to a reduction in leaf chlorophyll at bunch emergence. Living mulch did not reduce banana growth. Under mangoes, added mulch influenced the soil water balance and greenhouse gas emissions (N2O and CO2).

Item ID: 41367
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
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Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2016 23:31
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0706 Horticultural Production > 070601 Horticultural Crop Growth and Development @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science @ 20%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8202 Horticultural Crops > 820214 Tropical Fruit @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management @ 20%
82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8298 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production > 829802 Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Plant Production @ 40%
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