Soil Applied Ultrasol® NKMag + Foliar Applied Speedfol™ NKMag SP Enhance Quality of Grapefruit in China

The promotion of the Speedfol™ Crop SP project in the watersoluble Specialty Plant Nutrition market in China is well on track. Harmen Tjalling Holwerda (Global Market and Product Development Director at SQM) and Sonny Moerenhout (Market Development Manager water-soluble SPN at SQM) report on their visit to the grapefruit growing area (33.000 ha) near Zhangzhou, Fujian province, People’s Republic of China (Fig. 1), where our colleague Kevin Li from SQM China has set up a trial to show the benefits of soil applied Ultrasol® NKMag combined with foliar applied Speedfol™ NKMag SP.

Ultrasol® NKMag and Speedfol™ NKMag SP consist of a modified potassium nitrate, enhanced with magnesium (13%N, 42% K2O and 1,6% MgO) developed for the Chinese market. Ultrasol® NKMag is available in 25 kg bags for fertigation and soil applications, whereas Speedfol™ NKMag SP is being sold in 1 kg bags for spray applications (Fig. 2).


Figure 1. From left to right: Kevin Li, Mr Dai (GD Tianhe), Mr Zhang (retailer), Harmen Tjalling Holwerda, farmer, Mr Huang (GD Tianhe) and Sonny Moerenhout at the trial grapefruit farm location in Zhangzhou.


Figure 2. In China, Speedfol™ NKMag SP is available in 1 kg bags.

Recently, a field day was organized to show the first results (Tables 1, 2 and 3, and Figs. 3 and 4) which attracted much attention and interest from other farmers in the Zhangzhou grapefruit area. The trial is to be concluded late October when the typical performance, quality evaluations of the peel and fruit yield will be assessed. The final results will be published in one of the upcoming InterQonnection editions.

Table 1 shows the comparison between the soil applied traditional fertiliser programme for grapefruit and SQM’s soil applied Specialty Plant Nutrition programme. Already at the end of June, promising results were observed after 3 soil applications with Ultrasol® NKMag (Table 1) and 3 foliar sprays with Speedfol™ NKMag (Table 2). Table 3 gives a concise overview of the visual differences resulting from both programmes and is illustrated by means of Figs. 3 and 4.

Table 1. Comparison between the soil applied traditional fertiliser programme and SQM’s soil applied Specialty Plant Nutrition programme including Ultrasol® NKMag.

Soil

Traditional

SQM’s SPN programme

Time

Product

kg/tree

Product

kg/tree

1

End of April

15-15-15

1,0

15-15-15

0,5

Ultrasol® NKMag

0,5

2

End of May

15-15-15

1,0

15-15-15

0,5

Ultrasol® NKMag

0,5

3

End of June

15-15-15

1,0

Ultrasol® NKMag

0,5

4

Mid July

15-15-15

1,0

Ultrasol® NKMag

0,5

 

 

Total 15-15-15

4,0

Total 15-15-15

1,0

 

 

 

 

Total Ultrasol® NKMag

2,0


Table 2. SQM’s foliar applied Speedfol™ NKMag programme.

Foliar

Traditional

SQM’s SPN programme

Time

Product

%

Product

%

1

End of April

-

-

Speedfol™ NKMag SP

0,2

2

20 days later

-

-

Speedfol™ NKMag SP

0,2

3

20 days later

-

-

Speedfol™ NKMag SP

0,2

4

Early July

-

-

Speedfol™ NKMag SP

0,2

5

Early August

-

-

Speedfol™ NKMag SP

0,2


Table 3. Comparison table for 4 essential parameters showing the quality and quantity benefits of SQM’s SPN programme.

Parameters

Traditional

SQM’s SPN programme

Leaf appearance

Green

Shiny green, stronger

Fruit colour

More yellow

Green

Fruit size

Smaller fruits

More Bigger Fruits

Fruit stem diameter

Smaller

Bigger



Figure 3. The leaf on the left results from the traditional programme. The shiny green and stronger leaf on the right benefitted from SQM’s SPN programme.
Figure 4. The grapefruit on the left received the traditional programme. The greener one on the right benefitted from soil applied Ultrasol® NKMag combined with foliar applied Speedfol™ NKMag SP.

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