Yield responses to P fertilisation of onion (Allium cepa L.) and cabbage (Brassica oleracea Capitata Group L.) in Finland

  • Risto Uusitalo Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
  • Terhi Suojala-Ahlfors Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
  • Pirjo Kivijärvi Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
  • Timo Hurme Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Abstract

Finnish data on vegetable crops’ yield responses to phosphorus (P) applications are scarce, but P is usually applied in quantities that meet the crop demand with wide safety margins. We determined yield responses to P fertilisation of onion and cabbage at three sites in 3-year field trials. Only on a sandy loam with low P status did annual P applications give statistically significant yield increases, 7% and 20% over the P-unfertilised treatment for onion and cabbage, respectively. The maximum P rate allowed by national regulation for this soil is 80 kg ha-1, but P rates of 10–12 kg ha-1 were sufficient to produce 97% of the yield maxima. The results strongly suggest that the P demand of the studied vegetables is smaller than previously thought also in a boreal climate. Critical soil test P concentrations for vegetables should be established to avoid unnecessary build-up of soil P that may be uneconomical and elevate the risk for P losses to waterways. However, too few data exist for this at present.

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Section
Articles
Published
Mar 28, 2018
How to Cite
Uusitalo, R., Suojala-Ahlfors, T., Kivijärvi, P., & Hurme, T. (2018). Yield responses to P fertilisation of onion (Allium cepa L.) and cabbage (Brassica oleracea Capitata Group L.) in Finland. Agricultural and Food Science, 27(1), 63–73. https://doi.org/10.23986/afsci.67703