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E5 Effect of different phosphate fertilizer sources on the productivity of coffee in Vietnam


Objective
To study the effects of different phosphate fertilizer sources on the productivity of coffea robusta and coffea arabica on ferralitic soils derived from basalt and gneiss in Vietnam.

Background
Phosphorus deficiency is widespread on the acid upland soils of Vietnam and has been acknowledged as one of the major limiting factors on crop productivity. The omission of fertilizer P from the full fertilizer N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and S nutrient combination resulted in coffee yields that were smaller by 30% percent (Buy Hui Hien, 2001). To test the effect of various sources of fertilizer P on the productivity of coffee grown on these soils, three different sites were selected. The soils at all three sites are acid and contain relatively small reserves of P. Diammonium phosphate (DAP), fused magnesium phosphate (FMP) and single superphosphate (SSP) are common fertilizer P sources in Vietnam. These fertilizers were tested as sources of P for coffee at three sites between 1998 and 2001. The considerable difference in nutrient combination and P content in these fertilizers, however, complicated the comparison of their effects in the field experiments. Essential plant nutrient content of the three fertilizer P sources: DAP contains 46% P2O5 and 18% N; FMP contains 15% P2O5, 15% CaO, and 15% MgO; SSP contains 15% P2O5, 28% CaO, and 12% S. It is important to note that the responses to DAP, FMP, and SSP observed in fertilizer NPK nutrients on-farm trials are therefore related not only to the effect of fertilizer P nutrient alone, but also to fertilizer Ca, Mg, and S nutrients supplied in FMP and SSP. For example, when applying 100 kg P2O5 ha-1 using FMP, the treatment also supplies 100 kg CaO ha-1 and 100 kg MgO ha-1 to the soil-crop system. However, when applying 100 kg P2O5 ha-1 using SSP, the treatment supplies 187 kg CaO ha-1 and 80 kg S ha-1 to the soil-crop system. Furthermore, an application rate of 100 P2O5 kg ha-1 requires 217 kg of DAP. The same application rate would require 667 kg of FMP and SSP (i.e. >3 times the amount of DAP). The huge difference in the quantity requirements has a very significant effect on the cost of handling and applying DAP compared with FMP and SSP, and thus, the economic gains from the using these fertilizers.

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SITE #1:
Location: This fertilizer experiment on coffea robusta response to P sources was conducted at Hoa Thang commune in Buon Ma Thuot, Dak Lak Province in Vietnam, where coffee is grown at an altitude of 400500 m above sea level (planting year 1993). Soil type: Ferralitic soils derived from basalt. The well-structured and well-drained soil is of clayey texture and classified as a Rhodic Ferralsol in the FAO-Unesco system. Soil characteristics (analyses of topsoil samples collected before the start of the experiment): pH: Acidic (pHKCl = 4.5); Soil organic matter (SOM): 3.1% organic matter; Soil N: Total N = 0.24%; Soil P: Total P = 0.11%; available P = 36 mg kg-1; Soil K: Total K = 0.05%; available K = 116 mg kg-1; Cation exchange capacity (CEC): Exchangeable Ca = 2.60 cmol kg-1; exchangeable K = 2.85 cmol kg-1). Temperature: Average air temperature ranges between 21 C (December) and 26 C (May). Rainfall: Average annual rainfall 17001800 mm; mostly received between May and November. A distinct dry season occurs between December and April; during this period coffee is irrigated 34 times using a total of 25003000 m3 water drawn from wells.

Materials and Methods


Coffea robusta was planted at a density of 1100 plants ha-1. Planting began in 1993. Fertilizer P nutrients were applied as DAP, FMP, and SSP. Omission plots were used to measure the effect of P sources, with an application of farmyard manure (25 t FYM ha-1 yr-1), on the yield of coffea robusta. Fertilizer treatments received the following application rates (50% in May + 50% in July): 300 N + 100 P2O5 + 300 K2O kg ha-1 yr-1

Results
Effects of applying DAP, FMP, and SSP fertilizers for P nutrients, with FYM, on coffea robusta productivity in 1999 (Figure E5-1) (results from 1999):

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Yield: Yields in the DAP, FMP, and SSP treatments were larger than yields in FN+FYM-P treatments; the rate of dropped fruits were also smaller compared with FN+FYM -P treatments. The largest yields, and smallest rates of dropped fruits, were observed in the FMP treatments. Leaf nutrient content: Leaf P contents in the DAP, FMP, and SSP treatments were larger compared with leaf P in FN+FYM-P treatments, and was the largest in the DAP treatments. Leaf Ca and leaf Mg contents were largest in the FMP treatments. Soil P content: In the DAP, FMP, and SSP treatments, a distinct response to fertilizer P nutrients was observed in soil P concentrations measured before and after the P nutrient applications. Available P was largest 30 days after DAP treatments, but in FMP and SSP they peaked after 45 and 60 days respectively.

SITE #2:
Location: This fertilizer nutrient experiment on coffea arabica (v. catimor) response to P sources was conducted at Yen Kien commune in Doan Hung, Phu To Province, Vietnam. Soil type: Ferralitic soils derived from gneiss. Soil characteristics (analyses of topsoil samples collected before the start of the experiment): pH: Acidic (pHKCl = 4.7); Soil organic matter (SOM): 0.7% organic matter; Soil N: Total N = 0.08%; Soil P: Total P = 0.03%; available P = 39 mg kg-1; Soil K: Total K = 0.02%; available K = 165 mg kg-1; Cation exchange capacity (CEC): Exchangeable Ca = 3.60 cmol kg-1 Temperature: Average air temperature 838 C. Rainfall: Average annual rainfall 13501650 mm.

Materials and Methods


Coffea arabica was planted at a density of 5000 plants ha-1. Planting began in 1995. Fertilizer P nutrients were applied as DAP, FMP, and SSP. Omission plots were used to measure the effect of P sources at the rate of 150 kg P2O5, with an application of farmyard manure (25 t FYM ha-1 yr-1), on the yield of coffea arabica. In 19981999, all treatments also received 300 kg N and 300 K2O kg ha-1 yr-1 [N (urea, DAP); K(MOP)]. In 2000, smaller NPK rates of 80 N + 50 P2O5 + 80 K2O kg ha-1 yr-1 were applied in these treatments.

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Results
The effects of applying DAP, FMP, and SSP fertilizers for P nutrients, with FYM, on coffea arabica productivity in 1999 and 2000 are presented in Figures E5-32 and E5-3. Green bean yields in DAP, FMP, and SSP treatments were larger than yields in FN+FYM-P treatments; the rate of dropped fruits were also smaller compared with FN+FYM-P treatments (Figure E5-2). The largest yields and smallest rates of dropped fruits were observed in the DAP treatments; these yields were ~10% larger than in the FMP and SSP treatments, and 84% larger than in FN+FYM-P treatments. However, after NPK rates were reduced considerably in 2000, the largest yields and smallest rates of dropped fruit were observed in FMP treatments (Figure E5-3).

SITE #3:
Location: This fertilizer nutrient experiment on coffea arabica (v. catimor) response to P sources was conducted in Son La Province, Vietnam. Soil type: Ferralitic soils derived from gneiss. Soil characteristics (analyses of topsoil samples collected before the start of the experiment): pH: Acidic (pHKCl = 4.0); Soil organic matter (SOM): 3.6% organic matter; Soil N: Total N = 0.21%; Soil P: Total P = 0.16%; available P = 15 mg kg-1; Soil K: Total K = 0.34%; available K = 119 mg kg-1; Cation exchange capacity (CEC): Exchangeable Ca = 6.53 cmol kg-1; exchangeable K = 5.95 cmol kg-1). Temperature: Average air temperature 839 C. Rainfall: Average annual rainfall 14001600 mm.

Materials and Methods


Coffea arabica was planted at a density of 5000 plants ha-1. Planting began in 1995. Fertilizer P nutrients were applied as DAP, FMP, and SSP. Omission plots were used to measure the effect of P sources at the rate of 150 kg P2O5, with an application of farmyard manure (25 t FYM ha-1 yr-1), on the yield of coffea arabica.

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Results
The effects of applying DAP, FMP, and SSP fertilizers for P nutrients, with FYM, on coffea arabica productivity in 1999 are presented in Figures E5-4 and E5-5. Yields: The largest yields and smallest rates of dropped fruits were observed in the DAP treatments. Economic returns: Net returns were also the largest for DAP treatments.

Discussion
Effect of different fertilizer P sources on yields of coffea robusta grown on ferralitic soils derived from basalt: FMP: The extra supply of Mg in FMP treatments, compared with DAP and SSP, may have contributed to improved crop performance. Leaf Ca and leaf Mg are also higher due to the Ca and Mg content in FMP. DAP: Soil tests reveal that DAP releases plant-available P much more rapidly (peaking at 30 days) and at larger amounts compared with FMP or SSP. Effect of different fertilizer P sources on yields of coffea arabica on ferralitic soils derived from gneiss: Yields were largest in DAP treatments, at ~10% larger than FMP and SSP treatments in the first two years (150 kg P2O5 ha-1 yr-1). DAP treatments also had the smallest rates of dropped fruits, as well as the largest net returns. When NPK rates were reduced (to 50 kg P2O5 kg ha-1 yr-1) after two years, the largest yields and smallest rates of dropped fruit were found in FMP treatments. This may be attributed to the comparatively stronger residual effect of P from FMP (probably due to slower release of P), combined with the beneficial effects of Ca and Mg that were supplied in FMP applied to the coffee soil-crop system. The supply of Ca, Mg, and S together with P in FMP and/or SSP generally is expected to improve growing conditions in acid upland soils but also may disturb the cation balance (Ca:Mg:K) in poorly buffered soils. The extra supply of these nutrients in FMP and/or SSP may give rise to a one-sided Ca and/or Mg saturation. If this occurs, a larger application rate of fertilizer K may then be required, in order to increase the soil K content in equilibrium to Ca and Mg and thus ensure sufficient K uptake by crops.

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Summary and conclusions


From the results of these experiments, we can conclude that: DAP is a suitable source of P nutrient in coffee cultivation where quick response is required. FMP is beneficial to the soil-crop system in the uplands in the long run, due to its supply capacity fo slowly-available P, Ca, and Mg. A combined application of FMP (for base application) and DAP (for topdressing) will likely support large and sustainable coffee yields. SSP is recommended where coffee growth is limited by S deficiency, as demonstrated in a pot experiment using ferralitic soils form the uplands in Son La Province (Figure E5-5). Nam et al. (2001) conducted an NPK response experiment on coffea arabica (V. catimor) in Dak Lak Province from 19931999, using an N:P2O5:K2O ratio of 2:1:2. Yields were largest (4.4 t ha-1 yr-1 on average) where 350 N + 175 P2O5 + 350 K2O kg ha-1 yr-1 was applied in four treatments (Figure 6). The annual net returns at this fertilizer application rate was US$1,235 ha-1 (value:cost ratio of 5.5) compared with the returns when 170 kg N + 85 kg P2O5 + 170 kg K2O ha-1 yr-1 was applied. The results from this experiment provide further emphasis that even when coffee prices are declining (as is being experienced currently), judicious and balance fertilizer applications can provide coffee farmers in Vietnam with substantial economic benefits. The Government of Vietnam has made plans to reduce the area presently planted to robusta coffee (currently >600,000 ha) by substituting 150,000200,000 ha with fruit trees, pepper, and cocoa (a recently introduced crop). At the same time, it supports the expansion of the economically more viable arabica coffee in parts of Northern Vietnam where the climate is suitable. The area planted to coffea arabica, currently 30,000 ha, will be increased to 100,000 by 2010. In order to sustain yields of > 2 t green beans ha-1 on a consolidated area of 400,000 ha of coffea robusta and 100,000 ha coffea arabica in Vietnam, annual application rates of 200 kg N + 100 kg P2O5 + 200 kg K20 ha-1 are required. It is therefore expected that Vietnams highly skilled coffee planters will need to use at least 100,000 t N, 50,000 t P2O5 and 100,000 t K20 annually in terms of fertilizer NPK nutrients.

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Yield (t ha-1) 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 15 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 No P DAP FMP SSP 10 0.05 5 0 0.00 No P DAP FMP Leaf P Leaf Ca Leaf Mg
Available P (mg kg -1) 80 No P DAP 60 FMP SSP 40

Dropped fruit (%) 30 25

Leaf P (5%) 0.20

Leaf Ca, Mg (%) 1.2 1.0

0.15 20 0.10 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 SSP

Green bean yield Dropped fruits

20 Before P applic. 15 30 45 60 90

Days after application


FN: 300 N + 100 P2O5 + 300 K2O (50% in May + 50% in July) as diammonium phosphate (DAP), fused magnesium phosphate (FMP), and single superphosphate (SSP) kg ha-1 yr-1)

Figure E5-1 Effect of P nutrient sources combined with fertillizer N, K, and farmyard manure (FYM) on green bean yield, rate of dropped fruits, leaf P, leaf Ca, leaf Mg, and soil-available P in coffea robusta grown on ferralitic soils derived from basalt in the Central Highlands, Dak Lak Province in Vietnam, 1999. (NISF, 2000)

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Yield (t ha-1) 2.00 20

1.50

15

1.00

10

0.50

0.00 No P DAP Green bean yield


-1 -1

0 FMP Unfilled fruit SSP

No P: No fertilizer P applied; DAP, FMP, SSP: 150 kg P2O5 ha yr applied as diammonium phosphate, fused magnesium phosphate, and single superphosphate respectively. All treatments received 300 kg N, 300 kg K2O and 25 t FYM ha-1 yr-1.

Figure E5-2 Effect of P nutrient sources combined with fertillizer N, K, and farmyard manure (FYM) on green bean yield and rate of unfilled fruits of coffea arabica (v. Catimor) grown on ferralitic soils derived from gneiss in Phu Tho Province, Vietnam, 1999. (NISF, 2000) Yield (t ha-1) 2.0

Unfilled fruit (%) 30 25

1.5 20 1.0 15 10 0.5 5 0.0 No P DAP FMP SSP 1999 0 No P 2000 DAP FMP SSP

No P: No fertilizer P applied; DAP: 80 kg N (urea/DAP); FMP: , SSP: 150 kg P2O5 ha-1 yr-1 applied as diammonium phosphate, fused magnesium phosphate, and single superphosphate respectively. Application rates (1999): 80 N (urea/DAP) + 50 P2O5 (DAP, FMP, SSP) + 80 K2O (MOP) kg ha-1 yr-1 ; Application rates (2000): 300 N (urea/DAP) + 150 P2O5 (DAP, FMP, SSP) + 300 K2O (MOP) kg ha-1 yr-1 + 25 t FYM ha-1 yr-1

Figure E5-3 Effect of P nutrient sources combined with fertillizer N, K, and farmyard manure (FYM) on green bean yield and rate of unfilled fruits of coffea arabica (v. Catimor) grown on ferralitic soils derived from gneiss in Phu Tho Province, Vietnam, 1999. (NISF, 2000)

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Yield (t ha-1) 2.5 2.0 1.5 10 1.0 1000 0.5 0.0 DAP FMP SSP 5 500 0 0 DAP FMP Gross income Net return
-1

Unfilled fruit (%) 20

US$ ha-1 3000 2500

15 2000 1500

SSP

Green bean yield Unfilled fruit


DAP, FMP, SSP: 150 kg P2O5 ha yr applied as diammonium phosphate, fused magnesium phosphate, and single superphosphate respectively. All treatments received 300 kg N, 300 kg K2O and 25 t FYM ha-1 yr-1.
-1

Processing cost Cultivation cost Fertilization cost

Figure E5-4 Effect of P nutrient sources combined with fertillizer N, K, and farmyard manure (FYM) on green bean yield, rate of unfilled fruits, and economic parameters of coffea arabica (v. Catimor) grown on ferralitic soils derived from gneiss in Son La Province, Vietnam, 1999. (NISF, 2000)

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Leaf S (%) 0.20 0.15 0.10 0.05 0.00 FN Laterals plant-1 20 15 10 5 0 20 FN-S 40 0 FN FN-S Plant height (cm) 120 80 Trunk diameter (cm) 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 FN FN-S

Lateral length (cm) 60 40

Internode length (cm) 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0

0 0.0 FN FN-S FN FN-S FN FN-S Figure E5-5 Effect of fertilizer nutrient combinations with full fertillizer (FN=N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Zn, Cu, and B) with and without S on leaf content and growth parameters of coffea arabica (v. Catimor) grown on ferralitic soils derived from gneiss in Son La Province, Vietnam, 1999 (pot experiment). (NISF, 2001)

Green bean yield (t ha-1) 5

US$ ha-1 5000

4000

3000

2000

1000

0 170:85:170* 230:115:230* 290:145:290* Return 350:175:350* Cost

Dry bean yield


* N:P2O5:K2O (kg ha-1)

Figure E5-6 Effect of four fertilizer NPK nutrient levels (N:P2O5:K2O=2:1:2) on average green bean yield, cost of production, and economic returns of coffea arabica (v. Catimor) grown on a Rhodic Ferralsol derived from basalt in Buon Ma Thuot, Dak Lak Province in Vietnam, 19931999. (Ton Nu Tuan Nam et al., 2001)