Salinity and sodicity are prime threats to land resources resulting in huge economic and associated social consequences in several countries. Nutrient deficiencies reduce crop productivity in salt‐affected regions. Soil fertility has not been sustainably managed in salt‐affected arid regions. Few researchers investigated the crop responses to phosphorus and potassium interactions especially in saline–sodic soils. A research study was carried out to explore the effect of diammonium phosphorus (DAP) and potassium sulphate (K₂SO₄) on sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) grown in a saline–sodic field located in Kohat district of Pakistan. The crop was irrigated with ground water with ECᵢw value of 2.17–3.0� dS/m. Three levels each of K₂O (0, 75 and 150� kg/ha) as K₂SO₄ and P₂O₅ (0, 60 and 120� kg/ha) as DAP were applied. The application of P significantly affected fresh beet and shoot yield while K fertilizers had significant effect on fresh beet yield and ratio of beet:shoot, while non‐significant effects on the fresh shoot were observed. The application of K₁ and K₂ promoted sugar beet shoot yield by 49.2 and 49.2% at P₁ and 64.4 and 59.7% at P₂, respectively over controls. In comparison with controls, fresh beet yield was increased (%) by 15 and 51, 45 and 84, and 50 and 58 for corresponding K₁ and K₂ at P₀, P₁ and P₂, respectively. Addition of P₁ and P₂ increased beet yield by 37 and 47% over control. The shoot [P] (mmol/kg) were achieved as 55.2, 73.6 and 84.3 at P₀, P₁ and P₂, respectively. The shoot [Mg] and [SO₄] tended to decrease with increasing P levels, while [SO₄] was markedly reduced at P₂. The effect of P on leaf [Na] was non‐significant, but increasing levels of K decreased [Na] substantially at P₀ and P₁, but there was no difference in the effect of K level on [Na] at P₂. Consequently, K application reduced leaf Na:K ratios. Fresh shoot yield was weakly associated with leaf [P] (R²� =� 0.53). The leaf Na:K ratio showed a negative relationship (R²� =� 0.90) with leaf [K]. A strongly positive relationship (R²� =� 0.75) was observed between leaf [K] and fresh beet yield. The addition of K₂SO₄ also enhanced [SO₄] and SO₄:P ratios in leaf tissues. The ratio of Na:K in the shoot decreased with increasing K application. These results demonstrated that interactions of K and P could mitigate the adverse effects of salinity and sodicity in soils. This would contribute to the efficient management of soil fertility system in arid‐climate agriculture.
Authors and Publishers
Khattak, R. A.
CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International) is an international not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.
Our approach involves putting information, skills and tools into people's hands. CABI's 48 member countries guide and influence our work which is delivered by scientific staff based in our global network of centres.