AND CALCAREOUS SOILS
J.J. Wang1, C.W. Kennedy1, H.P. Viator2, A.E. Arceneaux1, and A.J. Guidry3
1Louisiana State University AgCenter, Dept. of Agronomy andEnvironmental Management, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
2Louisiana State University AgCenter, Iberia Research Station,
Jeanerette, LA 70544-0466
3Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, St. Martin Parish,Breaux Bridge, LA 70517-5010
Zinc (Zn) is recognized as an essential micronutrient for plant growth. The application of Zn for sugarcane production in Louisiana has not been studied inalmost 30 years due to previous research reporting neutral or negative effects on sugarcane yields. In this study, a fertilization experiment was conducted to evaluate the optimum rate of Zn applicationfor sugarcane production in soils low in DTPA-extractable Zn. An acidic Dundee silt loam and a calcareous Jeanerette silty clay loam were chosen for the experiment. The treatments consisted of fiverates of soil-applied Zn as granular ZnSO4 (0, 4.4, 8.9, 17.9, and 33.8 kg/ha Zn) and one foliar application rate (1.3 kg/ha Zn). Soil applications of 4.4 and 8.9 kg/ha Zn significantly (P ≤ 0.05)increased cane and sugar yields of LCP 85-384 by an average of more than 23 % above the control for both the acidic Dundee and calcareous Jeanerette soils. The foliar application of 1.3 kg/ha Zn producedsignificantly greater sugar yields than the control on only the calcareous Jeanerette soil. The results of one year, with two different locations, indicated that Zn application as ZnSO4 cansignificantly benefit Louisiana sugarcane production in soils testing low in DTPA-extractable Zn.
Previous research of sugarcane response to zinc applications on Louisiana soils has shown neutralto negative results (Golden, 1977). In other sugarcane producing regions, zinc applications have proved beneficial for sugarcane production on Zn- deficient soils (Kumar and Singh, 1997). Research...