Determination of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Requirement of the RRIM 600 and RRIT 251 Young Rubber Trees



Young rubber trees require sufficient nutrients to ensure successful planting and optimization of fertilizer cost. This study focused on the nitrogen and phosphorus requirement of the RRIM 600 and RRIT 251 young rubber trees, aged 6 - 9 months. The study was conducted using a complete randomized design (CRD) with 8 replications. The budded stumps of both clones were planted in polybags with charcoal as plant materials. Each clonal variety was distributed into 3 drip-irrigated hydroponic recirculating nutrient solution systems. The experiment started when young rubber trees had the first whorl with mature leaves. Solutions in the systems were sampled and analyzed for nitrogen and phosphorus content, and the tank volume was measured one hour after each watering event every 4 days through the experimental period. Results showed that nitrogen and phosphorus uptakes of RRIM 600 and RRIT 251 were not different. Total nitrogen use of the clones was 1191.08 ± 18.69 and 1241.09 ± 21.96 mg.plant-1, respectively, and total phosphorus use of the clones was 112.52 ± 5.22 and 131.81 ± 8.03 mg.plant-1, respectively. The RRIT 251 young rubber trees had higher nitrogen use efficiency than that of the RRIM 600 as was evident from their stem height (P < 0.05), 2.68 ± 0.16 cm.g-1 and 1.67 ± 0.22 cm.g-1, respectively. As a result, the nitrogen cost of an RRIT 251 rubber tree was lower than the RRIM 600 one around one fold or 0.006 USD. Total nitrogen and phosphorus costs for producing a young rubber tree of each clone were 0.012 and 0.008 USD, respectively.


RRIM 600, RRIT 251, nitrogen and phosphorus uptake, nutrient cost

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