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Article

Integrated Application of K and Zn as an Avenue to Promote Sugar Beet Yield, Industrial Sugar Quality, and K-Use Efficiency in a Salty Semi-Arid Agro-Ecosystem

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Agronomy Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Fayoum University, Fayoum 63514, Egypt
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Botany Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Fayoum University, Fayoum 63514, Egypt
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Department of Biology, College of Science, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Manuel Nieves-Cordones and Francisco Rubio
Agronomy 2021, 11(4), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11040780
Received: 6 March 2021 / Revised: 2 April 2021 / Accepted: 13 April 2021 / Published: 15 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Mineral Nutrition to Obtain Stress Tolerant Crops)
Salinity combined with a deficiency of potassium (K) and zinc (Zn) negatively affect sugar beet yield and quality. A two-year (2017/18–2018/19) field trial was undertaken to investigate the mediating role of soil-applied K [120 (K120) and 180 (K180) kg ha−1] and foliar-applied Zn [0 (Zn0), 150 (Zn150), and 300 (Zn300) ppm] in alleviating salt-stress (8.60 dS m−1) based on sugar beet morpho-physiological responses, sugar yield and quality, and K-use efficiency in the BTS 301 and Kawemira cultivars. Application of K180 × Zn300 was more effective and resulted in 23.39 and 37.78% higher root yield (RY) and pure sugar yield (PSY), respectively, compared to control (K120 × Zn0). It also enhanced sucrose, pure sugar (PS), and purity but decreased impurities (α-amino N, K, and Na), alkalinity index, and sugar loss. However, the K120 × Zn300 recorded higher K-use efficiency. PSY correlated positively (r = 0.776 **, 0.629 **, 0.602 **, 0.549 **, and 0.513 **) with RY, root fresh weight (RFW), top yield, PS, and root diameter, respectively. The stepwise and path-coefficient analysis demonstrated that RY, PS, and RFW were the most influential PSY-affected attributes. Integration of K180 + Zn300 can correct K and Zn deficiencies in the soil and mitigate salt-stress effects via improving sugar beet growth, yield and quality, and K-use efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: white sugar; nutrients management; non-sugar impurities; path-coefficient; saline soils white sugar; nutrients management; non-sugar impurities; path-coefficient; saline soils
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mekdad, A.A.A.; Shaaban, A.; Rady, M.M.; Ali, E.F.; Hassan, F.A.S. Integrated Application of K and Zn as an Avenue to Promote Sugar Beet Yield, Industrial Sugar Quality, and K-Use Efficiency in a Salty Semi-Arid Agro-Ecosystem. Agronomy 2021, 11, 780. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11040780

AMA Style

Mekdad AAA, Shaaban A, Rady MM, Ali EF, Hassan FAS. Integrated Application of K and Zn as an Avenue to Promote Sugar Beet Yield, Industrial Sugar Quality, and K-Use Efficiency in a Salty Semi-Arid Agro-Ecosystem. Agronomy. 2021; 11(4):780. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11040780

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mekdad, Ali A. A., Ahmed Shaaban, Mostafa M. Rady, Esmat F. Ali, and Fahmy A. S. Hassan. 2021. "Integrated Application of K and Zn as an Avenue to Promote Sugar Beet Yield, Industrial Sugar Quality, and K-Use Efficiency in a Salty Semi-Arid Agro-Ecosystem" Agronomy 11, no. 4: 780. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11040780

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