Effect of long-term application of potassium on sugarcane and soil properties in the Herbert River district : ASSCT peer-reviewed paper
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Excess potassium (K) fertiliser use can have a significant effect on sugar quality and refining costs but offers no benefit to sugarcane crop yield. Potassium fertiliser guidelines are based on soil texture and two measures of soil potassium: readily available or exchangeable K and reserve K. The maximum recommended K rate for the Herbert is 120 kg/ha. A long-term K trial was established on a sandy loam soil at Macknade. High K application rates increased soil exchangeable K levels and resulted in luxury K consumption by the sugarcane plant. This significantly increased juice conductivity and third-leaf K levels. It also resulted in significant reductions in third-leaf values for Ca and Mg.