FOLIAR NUTRIENT UPTAKE IN CRANBERRY

in HortScience
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  • 1 Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. 1 Ocean Spray Drive, Lakeville/Middleboro, MA 02349

Foliar feeding of crop plants is an increasingly popular practice. The use of foliar nutrients relies on the ability of the plant to sorb nutrients through the leaves. Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) are known to have a waxy cuticle on the leaf surface which may impede nutrient uptake, leaving only the lower leaf surface for effective uptake. This study was undertaken to determine the extent of foliar nutrient uptake by cranberries using rubidium as a tracer. Rubidium was chosen for its similarity to potassium in plant uptake. In replicated plots, cranberries were sprayed with rubidium at the rate recommended for foliar potassium at three different growth stages and three different times of day. Washed and unwashed leaves were analyzed one day, one week, and one month after rubidium applications. Stem, soil, and root material was analyzed for rubidium at the one week and one month sample times. Results will be discussed with reference to uptake and movement of foliar applied nutrients in cranberries.

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