Do soil applications of fulvic acid applied with potassium sulphate influence mango fruit quality?

P. Ibell, I.S.E. Bally, C.L. Wright, C. Maddox
The effects of fulvic acid as a supplement to potassium (K) applications on mango fruit quality, flower synchronisation and yield were investigated in an 8-year-old 'Kensington Pride' (KP) orchard over two seasons, at Southedge Research Station in Far North Queensland, Australia. The aim of the trial was to determine whether fulvic acid (FA) improved the efficiency of potassium uptake. Experimental treatments included i) nil K + nil FA, ii) 800 g K tree-1, and iii) 800 g K + 300 mL FA tree-1. Treatments were applied approximately every 3 weeks, after fruit set and during the fruit filling stage through to harvest. Treatment effects were assessed by measuring tree yield, fruit weight, length, depth and width, the incidence of post-harvest disease, ground skin colour at eating-ripe stage, as well as the proportion of canopy flowering in different stages in the following season. Results indicated that neither K fertiliser nor FA increased average fruit number or yield. In the first year, K combined with FA significantly increased the proportion of fruit with no lenticel spotting and the lightness of the ground skin colour of eating-ripe mangoes. By the second season, K with or without FA significantly increased the average fruit length and foliar dry-matter K concentration, while fruit weight was only marginally increased when compared to the nil K treatment. In summary, the addition of K applied during fruit development led to improved fruit size and maintenance of foliar K concentrations 2 years after application. However, although the addition of FA with K fertiliser reduced the proportion of fruit with lenticel spotting, this result was only observed in the first season of the trial and hence would require further research to confirm.
Ibell, P., Bally, I.S.E., Wright, C.L. and Maddox, C. (2017). Do soil applications of fulvic acid applied with potassium sulphate influence mango fruit quality?. Acta Hortic. 1183, 195-198
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1183.27
mango, organic ameliorants, fulvic acid, fruit quality, fruit size

Acta Horticulturae