ISSN: 1659-2751

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Formulation and Evaluation of Gel Foliar Fertilizers for Pineapple (Ananas comosus)

Abstract

The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a crop that requires a complex and costly fertilization plan due to the high yield expectation. A large part of nutrition is supplemented through foliar applications. Foliar fertilizers currently in the market have low absorption rate and are washed off easily by excessive rain. Gel foliar fertilizers can be formulated with higher concentration and multiple elements. They quickly adhere to leaves, and are not easily washed off by rain. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of gel foliar fertilizers for pineapple production. This study identified and evaluated different gel forming compounds available in the market. The best selection was used to formulate gel based foliar fertilizer. These fertilizers were evaluated in the field. The results indicated that the guar gum at 0,5 % was the best gel agent and the formulations were compatible, easy to apply and did not form lumps. The four treatments showed no significant differences in the number of leaves, root and leaf biomass. The treatment which received half of the recommended fertilizer with gel produced similar biomass as those receiving normal recommended fertilizer. It appears that gel in foliar fertilizer application can improve fertilizer absorption efficiency and reduce the cost. The application of foliar fertilizers in gel is a viable option for the nutrition of pineapple.

Key words: Ananas comosus, biomass, fertilizer, leaf, gel, adhesive, pineapple, product.

Artículo en español (pdf) (1839)