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Development and Implementation of Site-Specific Fertilizer Recommendation Model Based on Nutrient Balance for Rubber Plantation


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 103 No. 2, p. 464-471
    Received: June 3, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): xie23300459@sina.com
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  1. Bangqian Chen,
  2. Jianhua Cao,
  3. Jikun Wang,
  4. Zhixiang Wu and
  5. Guishui Xie *
  1. Key Lab. of Rubber Biology, Ministry of Agriculture; Danzhou Key Field Station of Observation and Research for Tropical Agricultural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture; and Rubber Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Danzhou 571737, China


Fertilization is one of the key inputs to ensure healthy growth of rubber trees [Hevea brasiliensis (Willd. ex A. Juss.) Müll. Arg.] and maintain the nutrient balance of a rubber plantation. The main objective of this study was to develop and implement a nutrient balance based model to recommend fertilizer for individual rubber trees. We reviewed the theory of nutrient balance, then developed a model to integrate with geographic information system technology, and subsequently provided a detailed description of aboveground nutrient consumption (used for tree growth and latex production) and soil-supplied nutrient estimation, which was the key step in the model. A case study from a state farm on Hainan Island in China compared the model-derived results with existing recommendations, which were derived from the foliar analysis model with several decades of cultivation experience. Comparative analysis results showed the mean fertilizer rate of urea, single superphosphate, KCl, and total fertilizer rate was consistent with the existing recommendations. The model optimized the fertilizer application because the model included stand age and soil fertility, thus reduced the cost and ensured the rational use of natural resources. Implementation of this model serves as a supplement and complementary method associated with a foliar analysis model. Furthermore, it also can be used directly as a site-specific fertilizer recommendation at Hainan State Farm using soil sampling data when leaf sample data are lacking to implement the foliar analysis model.

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Copyright © 2011. American Society of AgronomyCopyright © 2011 by the American Society of Agronomy