Shoot and root growth and potassium concentration of maize as affected by potassium fertilizer placement
Perna, Jason and Menzies, Neal (2010). Shoot and root growth and potassium concentration of maize as affected by potassium fertilizer placement. In: Robert Gilkes and Nattaporn Prakongkep, Proceedings of the 19th World Congress of Soil Science: Soil solutions for a changing world. 19th World Congress of Soil Science: Soil solutions for a changing world, Brisbane, Australia, (222-225). 1-6 August 2010.
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Banding of fertilisers is becoming a necessary part of conservation tillage. Unfortunately, when nutrients are placed in a band there is the possibility of insufficient root contact for optimum uptake. For nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), this issue is addressed through the well understood plant response of root proliferation. In contrast, there has been little work done on fractional fertilising of potassium (K), and the existing work indicates that K does not promote root proliferation. A pot trial with treatments consisting of six different fractional soil volumes fertilised with K was set up to determine the effect of fractional fertilisation of K on the plant uptake of K, root morphology and shoot biomass. Root proliferation occurred in treatments with a band application of fertiliser and with 6.25 and 12.5% of soil volume fertilised. There was no effect from fractional fertilisation on plant uptake of K or shoot biomass production. Plants were able to adapt to the resource environment and achieve adequate uptake of K regardless of the soil volume fertilised.