Journal of NACAA

Assessing Phosphorus Fertilization in Blueberry Production

ISSN 2158-9429

Volume 16, Issue 2 - December 2023

Editor: Linda Chalker-Scott


Blueberry plants are calcifuge plants adapted to soil pH from 4.5 to 5.5. Low pH soils have low cation exchange capacity (CEC) and low available phosphorus (P) to the plants. Constant fertilization reduces soil pH and compromises plant nutrient availability causing nutrient deficiencies or toxicity. Customizing fertilizer applications to plant physiological demands will allow growers to effectively manage crop nutrition while avoiding overfertilization. In this research project, leaf tissue and soil samples were collected to quantify phosphorus content in the leaf and soil and to determine the relationship between leaf P content and P available in the soil. Experimental plots were established in three commercial farms and samples were collected throughout the 2020 season. Based on the lab results obtained, there was no correlation between soil P and leaf P concentration. The farm with the highest fruit yield had the lowest soil P concentration and the highest leaf P level. Furthermore, leaf Al, Fe, Ca, and Mg had a negative correlation with leaf P, whereas soil Ca levels positively impacted leaf P. These findings imply that lowering soil recommendation levels for blueberries may be possible without compromising yield and leaf P levels.

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