Fertigation Research on Mangosteen in Thailand

Fertigation Research on Mangosteen in Thailand

 

by Panjaporn Lertrat

........Recently growth of demand for mangosteen among domestic market and foreign market is indicated that mangosteen will be increasingly important as one of economic fruit of Thailand. At present, mangosteen has been planted all over the country around 19,200 hectares that enhanced yields to be 108,000 metric tons/year. Some of fruit crops have been exported to foreign market especially for Hong Kong,Taiwan and Japan. The trend of demand for export is increasingly well developed, however, to access the effectiveness of high yields for export still be restricted relative to
80 % of mangosteen’s quality regarding fruit size and translucent fruit disorder is lower than the standardize to export.

Thus, the research on mangosteen production will focus on development of new cultural practice technology for high productivity with respect to high quality.Fertigation practice is a technique of supplying dissolved fertilizer to crops through an irrigation system to improve efficiency of fertilizer recovery, minimal losses due to leaching,control of nutrient concentration in soil solution and flexibility in timing of fertilizer application in relation to crop demand based on development and physiological stage of crops.

 

Chanthaburi Horticultural Research Center has begun fertigation study on enhancing yields and fruit quality of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L.) at farmer orchard in Chanthaburi province, eastern part of Thailand since 1998 compared to traditional fertilizer application. Plant growth, yield parameter and yields were recorded as indicators to fertilizer efficience. It was shown that the fertigation applied at 550 : 300 : 1000 gram of N : P2O: K2O resulted in higher yield and tended to promote fruit quality in a reduction of fertilizer cost (table 1). Plant leaf tissue and soil analysis revealed that the nutrient concentrations were not undergo flux during 2-year period and pronounced very little difference between nutrients in the extent of traditional fertilizer application

However, fertigation rates and management strategies should be based on judgment of tree nutrient status, crop demand, soil availability and other site-specific variables.

Table 2 showed removal of N, P and K by fruit of mangosteen (pulp, aril, seed and stalk parts)

Table 1: Comparison of traditional fertilization and fertigation on yields and fertilizer cost.( average in 2 years.)

 

Treatment

Fertilizer rate/tree

N-P2O5-K2O

Number of fruit/tree

Fruit weight (g)

Yield/tree(kg)

Fertilizer cost/ha/year

( US $ )

Traditional

Fertilization

880-1200-1300

228

100

22

 

422

Fertigation *

550-300-1000

504

92

43

357

* Fertigation rate was based on judgment of tree NPK status, crop removal and soil nutrients availability.

Table 2 : Removal of N, P and K by fruit of mangosteen ( g/kg ).

Fruit part

N

P

K

Pulp

0.25

0.08

0.25

Aril

1.00

0.47

3.07

Seed

0.04

0.01

0.05

Stalk

0.11

0.01

0.23

Total

1.40

0.57

3.60

Source : Panjaporn Lertrat, 1999.

 

(a) (b)

Figure 1 : Mangosteen orchard and fertigation application unit.

(a) Farmer orchard of 15-year old mangosteen in Chanthaburi province, Thailand.

(b) A venturi pump used in fertigation head unit.

(a) (b)

Figure 2 : Comparison between traditional fertilizer and fertigation application on fruit quality

(a) Traditional fertilizer application.

(b) Fertigation application.

Reference

Panjaporn Lertrat. 1999. Horticulture Research Institute Newsletter:12 (2-3) ; 4-6.