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Article

Potassium Fertilisation Is Required to Sustain Cassava Yield and Soil Fertility

1
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Lao PDR Office, Dong Dok, Ban Nongviengkham, Vientiane, Lao PDR
2
Faculty of Science, and the UWA Institute of Agriculture, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
3
Maize and Cash crop Research Center (MCRC), National Agricultural and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), Naphok, Vientiane, Lao PDR
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Faculty of Science, and the UWA Institute of Agriculture, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment and School of Biological Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
5
Centre for Plant Genetics and Breeding, Faculty of Science, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(8), 1103; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10081103
Received: 31 May 2020 / Revised: 25 July 2020 / Accepted: 27 July 2020 / Published: 30 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
Cassava is often grown in low-fertility soils and has a reputation for having modest nutrient requirements. The storage roots that are harvested, however, contain relatively large amounts of potassium (K). We carried out a field experiment in Laos to determine the growth response to K fertiliser and to examine the field’s K balance over the cropping season. Four different rates of K (0-40-80-120 kg K2O equivalents ha−1) were applied to cassava variety Rayong11. Harvests were done at 8 and 10 months after planting, when the crop was at early and full maturity respectively, to assess if any benefits for productivity or K balance could be achieved by early harvest. We found a positive effect of K fertiliser (up to 39% yield increase compared to no K fertiliser at early harvest, 21% at late harvest) and a positive effect of late harvest (on average a 35% increase compared to early harvest) on cassava root yield. Low-K crops benefited more from a late harvest. At 10 months, the harvested cassava contained 99–142 kg K ha−1, indicating that there was a net removal of K from the fields, even at high K fertilisation levels. This experiment was carried out in comparatively fertile soil with relatively high background K levels, yet, yield benefits of K fertilisation were observed and soil K reserves were depleted by the harvest. It can be concluded that K fertilisation of cassava is advisable for better yields and to avoid progressive depletion of the soil K capital. View Full-Text
Keywords: cassava; potassium; soil fertility; nutrition cassava; potassium; soil fertility; nutrition
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chua, M.F.; Youbee, L.; Oudthachit, S.; Khanthavong, P.; Veneklaas, E.J.; Malik, A.I. Potassium Fertilisation Is Required to Sustain Cassava Yield and Soil Fertility. Agronomy 2020, 10, 1103. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10081103

AMA Style

Chua MF, Youbee L, Oudthachit S, Khanthavong P, Veneklaas EJ, Malik AI. Potassium Fertilisation Is Required to Sustain Cassava Yield and Soil Fertility. Agronomy. 2020; 10(8):1103. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10081103

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chua, Ming F., Laothao Youbee, Saythong Oudthachit, Phanthasin Khanthavong, Erik J. Veneklaas, and Al I. Malik 2020. "Potassium Fertilisation Is Required to Sustain Cassava Yield and Soil Fertility" Agronomy 10, no. 8: 1103. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10081103

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