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Soil physicochemical characteristics and leaf nutrient contents on banana farms of North Queensland, Australia

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Orr, R., Northfield, T. D., Pattison, A. B. and Nelson, P. N. (2023) Soil physicochemical characteristics and leaf nutrient contents on banana farms of North Queensland, Australia. Crop and Pasture Science, 74 (5). pp. 483-493.


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/CP22306

Publisher URL: https://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/CP22306


Context: Banana production in Australia is in three primary sub-regions within tropical North Queensland and the industry faces a variety of challenges including costs of production, disease and pests, and environmental impacts. The range of soil characteristics and banana leaf nutrient status on banana farms has not previously been systematically described. This knowledge gap makes it difficult to adapt research, management recommendations, and regulations to the needs of the three primary growing sub-regions.Aims: In this work, we aimed to identify key soil factors that differentiate growing sub-regions, and provide context for future research and industry regulation.Methods: We characterised soil and banana leaf samples from 28 banana farms on soil types accounting for >85% of Australia’s banana production.Key results and conclusions: Variation in soil properties and leaf nutrient concentrations were driven largely by site- (principal component 1 in both cases) and management-related variables (principal component 2 in both cases). Management-related foliar nutrient concentrations did not differ between regions despite differences in the associated soil variables. The most important site characteristics appeared to be soil parent material and climate. The Mareeba sub-region has basaltic soils, low rainfall and temperature, whereas the other two sub-regions are hotter, wetter and have a variety of soil parent materials. Leaf nitrogen concentrations were mostly below the regulated limit for additional nitrogen fertiliser application.Implications: Our findings can facilitate sub-region-specific site selection for research, extension, and monitoring and more targeted regulation of banana production- and environment-related issues.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:agronomy, climate, crop management, nitrogen allocation, phosphorus nutrition, soil parent material, tropical crops, tropical soils.
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Special aspects of agriculture as a whole
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Special aspects of agriculture as a whole > Sustainable agriculture
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture > Culture of individual fruits or types of fruit > Bananas
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia > Queensland
Live Archive:20 Jul 2023 23:37
Last Modified:20 Jul 2023 23:37

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