Mango
Mango

Its scientific name is Mangifera indica L. belonging to the Anacardiaceae family.

Mango is a perennial tree with a height ranking from 8 to 25 m. Its fruit grow during summer which is originated from inflorescences developed in spring.

These trees grow in a discontinue way; the size increase comes from vegetative shoots which are constantly originating. This grow is restricted in the flowering stage, since inflorescences are determined and the vegetative growth is inhibited when the reproductive organs are developing. The extension of the inhibited period is proportionally to the flowering intensity and the load of the crop.

The development of the terminal inflorescence occurs after a cold period associated to a degree of drought stress. In locations where winter is not cold enough for an adequate flowering induction (minimum daily T° above 15°C), it is common to produce this induction by exposing trees to soil moisture deficiencies (drought stress) before flowering.

The mango tree is drought tolerant and can sustain temporarily flooding. The rainfall distribution has a drastic effect in the crop cycle.

Rainfalls during flowering and fruit development are detrimental for the risk of disease incidence.

Temperatures between 20 to 30°C favor vegetative shoot development while temperatures between 6 to 18°C incentive the initiation of the inflorescence development.

The tree nutritional status has a remarkable effect in fruit quality. Then it is necessary to know the soil and its management practices, such as irrigation and fertilizer program for obtaining a good nutritional balance. The nutrient concentration in the leaves is a proper indicator as reference of this.

The moisture demand during the season is variable in relation to the crop growth stage. So it is important to constantly monitoring the water available in the soil and the irrigation applied in each crop stage to avoid wilting of the inflorescence or fruit drop. This moisture demand is high when new shoots are developing, at flowering and at fruit set

Leaves are susceptible to high salinity. In saline soils (CE < 2ds/m) the irrigation management should be controlled to avoid salt burns. Trees can grow in a wide rage of soils, except in high pH soils since nutritional deficiencies occur and a lower quality fruit is produced. The ideal pH is from 5.5 – 7.0.

Some known mango varieties are Tommy Atkins, Keitt, Kent, Haden and Sensation.

Main Nutrients
The application of balanced nutrition aims to ensure adequate aerial and root growth to store as much carbohydrate in specialized organs. Adequate nutrition of the crop is a key factor in obtaining good harvests.

To achieve an appropriate nutrition plan in mango is necessary to know the nutrient demand in quantity and type of nutrient. It is also important to know the role of each nutrient for crop growth, yield and quality of production.

The nutritional balance of the crop (foliar analysis as reference) has a great implication over the final quality of the mango fruit and the disease incidence at post-harvest.

Generally mango is grown in sandy soils (<20% clay). In these cases, the crop must be regularly fertilized (2 or 3 times per week) with a balanced fertilizers mix to meet the nutritional requirement for an adequate growth and fruit development.

The following table shows the requirement of main nutrients in the Tommy Atkins per gram of nutrient required.

Week

Days

N

P

K

Ca

Mg

S

Cu

Fe

Mn

Zn

B

Mo

 

g

g

g

g

g

g

mg

mg

mg

mg

mg

mg

0

0

1

0,44

0,97

0,23

0,11

0,11

2,13

13,84

9,64

4,86

10,15

0,06

1

7

1

0,36

0,92

0,20

0,10

0,10

1,84

11,82

7,80

4,15

8,47

0,05

2

14

1

0,25

0,91

0,17

0,09

0,09

1,53

9,51

5,49

3,34

6,44

0,04

3

21

1

0,20

1,02

0,16

0,09

0,09

1,46

8,84

4,35

3,10

5,60

0,03

4

28

1

0,19

1,25

0,18

0,11

0,11

1,60

9,43

4,01

3,31

5,61

0,02

5

35

1

0,20

1,57

0,21

0,13

0,13

1,85

10,69

4,07

3,75

6,04

0,02

6

42

1

0,22

1,83

0,24

0,15

0,15

2,05

11,69

4,16

4,10

6,34

0,02

7

49

1

0,22

1,89

0,24

0,16

0,15

2,04

11,51

3,99

4,03

6,04

0,02

8

56

1

0,20

1,76

0,22

0,15

0,14

1,85

10,34

3,59

3,62

5,29

0,01

9

63

1

0,19

1,58

0,19

0,13

0,13

1,63

9,06

3,22

3,17

4,55

0,01

10

70

1

0,18

1,46

0,17

0,12

0,12

1,48

8,20

3,01

2,87

4,06

0,01

11

77

1

0,18

1,42

0,17

0,12

0,11

1,43

7,88

2,99

2,76

3,86

0,01

12

84

1

0,20

1,47

0,17

0,13

0,12

1,46

8,03

3,15

2,81

3,90

0,01

13

91

1

0,22

1,57

0,18

0,14

0,12

1,56

8,54

3,43

2,99

4,12

0,01

Mango is also grown in clay soils; this soil type has larger organic matter content, presents a great nutrient retention capacity, fixes and liberates nutrients from and toward the soil solution. This complex process is regulated by chemical balanced conditions of the soil. Clay soils, according their characteristics, present an additional difficulty for predicting the nutrient absorption dynamic by the plants, since this is also related to the individual crop features, and environmental and climatic growing conditions of each zone.

Nutrient requirement per week (grams) per gram of nutrient required, for the fruit development of the Tommy Atkins mango variety, with 20 mm fruit diameter until reaching the harvest maturity.

 

Important Consideration

Nutrient to applied and application period

Soil Type

Clay soils (>20%)

For trees under irrigation, the following nutrients are applied according each crop stage:
• Post-harvest: When new aerial growth is expected. Application of Nitrogen, Potassium and Calcium.
• Before flowering (1 month): Potassium, Boron, Sulphur and Magnese, being Potassium the most important, since this is the element which is required in larger quantity by the mango plant.
• At flowering: Iron, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Boron and Molybdenum. Application of Ultrasol® MKP for increasing the Phosphorus level in the tree and controling powdery mildew.

In this type of soil, it must be careful not applying ammonio nitrate overdoses, since this should be ready available for plant absorption at the fruit development stage, being detrimental for the fruit quality.

Low clay content soils (<10%)

Cultived mango trees in sandy soils need to be regulary nourished (1 o 2 times per week). It is recommended to apply soluble nutrition regularly through the irrigation system.

Soil pH

High pH soils

High Calcium carbonate levels present in the soil represent high pH soils, which are typical of arid zones. This characteristic reduces the availability of some nutrients for the plant; limiting the absorption of microelements and obtaining slow grow crops, with small and chlorotic leaves.
For improving the microelements absorption it is advisable to perform the following practices:
• Enrichment with nitric acid (which increases the nutrient solubility), during the last hour of each irrigation, based on one or two irrigation monthly. Also, acidification of irrigation water by the application of Ultrasol® Micro Fe, Ultrasol Micro Zn, Ultrasol® Micro Cu, Ultrasol® Micro Mn, Ultrasol® Micro B or borato de sodio or Ultrasol® Micro.
• In saline sandy of desert areas, Ultrasol® K is recommended for satisfying the Potassium need and reducing the negative
• Miconutrient foliar applications (via spray) together with soil applications of micronutrients "cationics" in chelates form (EDTA-Cu; Mn; Zn; EDDHA-Fe) have demonstrated to be effective for fighting trace elements deficiences in mango tree. It is recommended to perform monthly applications or every 3 weeks during spring and summer (when the active growth and development occur). The products must contain Iron, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum and Zinc. Speedfol™ Amino Flower & Fruit SC applications are recomended.
• Applications of Ultrasol® Magnum P44 (urea phosphate) is used a Phosphorus source considering its temporal acidic effect over the soil solution.
• KNO3 is recommended on desert soil to meet the Potassium supply and for reducing the absorption of chloride by the tree, considering the salinity increment as result of Potassium sulphate or chloride applications.

 

Growing stages for the crop

Nutrients are much better absorbed by the plant at the shooting stage of new leaves or in the inflorescence development. than at maturity of the aereal part and the fruits

An example is the nutrition practice for increasing the flowering intensity. Inthis stage KNO3 is applied via spray at 2 and 4% every 14 days beginning 6 weeks before flowering initiation. This is applied together with Paclbutrazol for increasing the flowering response. This application is directed under the trees, prior the flowering period (5 month).

Similary, for increasing the fruit retention at post-flowering and obtaining the powdery mildew control also is advisable nutrition practices to be applied during the inflorescence development period (see Mango trial).

Pre-planting soil preparation

Low pH soils and reduced soil Phosphorus

The pre-planting nutritional program must be based on a soil analysis.

Calcium and phosphate should be added. Simple superphosphate is preferred for correcting soil pH prior planting; due to that also contain sulphur, a nutrient commonly scarce in poor soils with limited organic matter.

It is very important that phosphate be incorporated at an adequate soil depth, since this element is immobile in the soil. It is recommended to apply superficially and later to empploy a subsoiler at 80 to 100 cm.

High pH soils (>7,5) and high salinity (EC>2dS/m)

It is recommended to add sulphur (as acidifying) and gypsum (as Sodium neutralizing) at pre-panting. It can be applied also, large quantities of manure well composted (more than 100 m3/ha) at least 80 cm depth.

Nutritional Recommendation
An adequate supply of nutrients to plants should incorporate both macronutrients and micronutrients. SQM in the selection of specialty plant nutrition (SPN) that offers the following alternatives available according to the route of application (fertigation, soil or foliar):

The nutritional status of the trees has a marked effect on fruit quality, so it is necessary to understand and manage soil, irrigation practices carried out and adequate fertilization in terms of achieving a proper balance of nutrients to which the rules of nutrient concentrations in the leaves serve as a benchmark.

Water demand season varies depending on the state of crop growth and is very important to constantly monitor the amount of available soil water and irrigation applied at each stage of the crop, to avoid the wilting of the inflorescence or falling off. This demand is high in developing new growth, flowering and fruit set.

The leaves are susceptible to high salinity. In saline soils (EC > 2 sd/m) irrigation management should be controlled to avoid salt burn. They can grow in a wide range of soil types, but soils with high pH are limiting, which results in nutrient deficiencies and low fruit quality. The ideal pH is between 5.5 - 7.0.
Grawing in Clay Soils
Fertilization programme for mango trees growing in soils tending to be acidic and containing appreciable clay (>20%) amount in grams per tree or spray rate in ml per 100 L water; adjustment can be made based on the results of leaf analysis.

Clay imparts soils with the abilitity to store and release nutrients into the soil solution from where root nutrient uptake takes places.
*Spraying should not be carried out during the heat of the day.

Stage of yearly cycle

Fertilizer

Small tree 1-2,5 m high

Medium tree 2,6-3,5 m high

Large tree 3,6-6 m high

Post-harvest

Soil - Nitrato de Amonio

100g

200g

300g

Soil - Qrop™ Calcio

320g

650g

960g

Soil - Qrop™ MAP

150g

300g

450g

Month prior to flowering

Soil - Qrop™ SOP

375g

750g

1.130g

Qrop™ Boronat 32

30g

50g

70g

Soil - ULtrasol® Magsul

100g

200g

300g

During flowering

*Spray-Speedfol™ Amino Flower & Fruit SC (x2 sprays, first anthesis, second full-bloom)

300ml

300ml

300ml

*Spray-Ultrasol® MKP (x2 sprays, first anthesis, second full-bloom)

1.000g

1.000g

1.000g

*Spray-Ultrasol® K (x2 sprays, first anthesis, second full-bloom)

2.000g

2.000g

2.000g

Start of fruit growth and development

Soil - Calcium sulphate

300g

500g

800g

Macronutrients / Micronutrients
Macronutrients

Certain nutrients are preferred for mango, these preferences are based on the experiences of the author (Dr.Steven A.Oosthuyse).

Preferred sources fo the macro-and major-nutrients in mango, soil application after planting are:

Nutrient

Low pH - soil/water

High pH - soil/water

Comments

Nitrogen

Ammonium nitrate

Ammonium sulphate
Ammonium nitrate

Ammonium sulphate is most acidifyng

Phosphorus

Mono-potassium phosphate
Mono-ammonium phosphate

Phosphoric acid
Urea phosphate

A high degree of solubility is required to ensure maximal macro-pore penetration. Acidifying phosphates are beneficial in high pH soils.

Potassium

Potassium nitrate
Potassium sulphate

Potassium nitrate

Nitrate uptake reduces the effect of chloride and favours cationic nutrient uptake.

Calcium

Calcium nitrate

Calcium nitrate

As for Potassium

Magnesium

Magnesium sulphate

Magnesium sulphate

Magnesium sulphate is suitable for high and low pH solid in view of Magnesium being required in far lesser amounths than Nitrogen and Potassium.

Sulphur

 

Sulphur is present in certain of the above fertilizers.



Micronutrients
Certain nutrients are preferred for mango, these preferences are based on the experiences of the author (Dr.Steven A.Oosthuyse).

Preferred sources fo the micro-and major-nutrients in mango, soil application after planting are:

Nutrient

Foliar application

Soil application

Comments

Copper

Ammonium nitrate
Gluconate complex
Lignosulphonate complex
Citric acid conplex
Suspension concentrate
EDTA chelate

EDTA-Cu

Foliar rectification is possible. Do not spray apply with metral based pesticides or fungicides.

Iron

As for Cu

EDTA (low pH)
DTPA (neutral pH)
or
EDDHA-Fe (pH levels > 7,5)

Success in rectifying Iron deficiency with sprays is limited.
Do not mix metal based pesticides or fungicides.

Manganese

As for Cu

EDTA-Mn

Foliar rectification is possible.
Do not mix with metal based pesticides or fungicides.

Zinc

As for Cu
Zinc nitrate

EDTA-Zn

Foliar rectification is possible.
Zinc nitrate is generally not compatible with other spray products.
Do not mix with metal based pesticides or fungicides.

Boron

Sodium borate
Boric acid

Calcium-sodium borate
Sodium borate
Boric acid

Boron should preferably be applied to the soil due its immobility in the phloem in most crop plants.

Molybdenum

Sodium Molybdate

 

Molybdenum fertilizer products are most Ammonium Molybdate effective in meeting the need for Molybdenum when they are spray applied.

Importance of Nutrient Balance
Research Attesting to the Importance of Nutrient Balance

Excess nitrogen, in relation to calcium and potassium, is often associated with poor ground skin colouration and a high incidence of physiological disorders (internal breakdown, mostly).

Source: Oosthuyse, 1997a.

Response to the nutritional unbalance in the mango crop

Unbalanced nutrients:

Observed effect in the crop

mango

Ca levels

Formation of cavities in the peduncle (fruit stem) due to reduced levels of Ca in relation to N and K and to water fluctuation applications during the fruit growth. These cavities are associated to internal fruit decay.

mango

N levels

Physiological disorders such as internal fruit decay resulting from high N levels in relation of the K and Ca.It has proved that these nutrient unbalances negatively affect the productivity

Spray Application of Potassium Nitrate
Increased Fruit Retention and Yield Resulting from Spray Application of Potassium Nitrate

Increased fruit retention and yield resulting from spray application of potassium nitrate Oosthuyse (1993) reported an increased in fruit retention and tree yield after spraying flowering Tommy Atkins mango tree with potassium nitrate. Below show the effect in an additional study (Oosthuyse, 1994, unpublished) where the varieties Tommy Atkins, Ken and Heidi were included.

Similar increases were found in the varieties Kent and Heidi. In the latter varieties, best results were found when two 2% sprays were made, whereas in Tommy Atkins, one 4% spray resulted in the greatest increase in fruit retention and yield. 2% KNO3 application at the commencement of anthesis (flower opening), followed by 2% KNO3 application when the trees are in full-bloom, is generally recommended.

Source: Oosthuyse 1994.

Response to potassium nitrate (spray) application in the mango crop

Effect in:

Treatment and observed results in the crop

Oosthuyse 1994

Crop yield

A yield increase was obtained in the Tommy Atkins variety when applying potassium nitrate (spray) at full flowering stage.

Oosthuyse 1994

Fruit retention

A fruit retention increment in the Tommy Atkins variety was obtained when applying potassium nitrate (spray) at full flowering stage.

Spray Application of Mono-Potassium Phosphate
Powdery Mildew Control Resulting from Spray Application of Mono-Potassium Phosphate(MKP)

Oosthuyse (1998) spray-applied mono-potassium phosphate (KH2PO4 or MKP), a potassium-phosphate fertilizer, to flowering Kent and Tommy Atkins mango tree, either alone or with conventionally used curative fungicides (carbendazim and fluziloazol, bonomyl, tebuconizol, prochloraz or wetable sulphur) generally at quarter strength. Unsprayed trees served as controls, and certain trees were sprayed with Bayfidan at full strength.
In Kent, the fungicide/MKP mixes were almost as effective as Bayfidan at full strength in reducing tree percentage of diseased inflorescences. MKP Applied alone was apparently slightly less effective than Bayfidan in this regard. In Kent and Tommy Atkins, the extent of mildew inflorescence colonization was reduced by all of the sprays applied. In Kent, the reduction was most marked following Bayfidan application.

The results were clearly seen to show that MKP is effective in retarding the development of powdery mildew on mango inflorescences, and can thus be used to reduce the cost of powdery mildew control in mango.

Fuente: Oostthuyse 1998b

Response to potassium nitrate (spray) application in the mango crop

Effect in:

Treatment and observed results in the crop

Oostthuyse 1998b

Powdery Mildew Control

Monopotassium phosphate (MKP) was applied alone and in a mix with curative fungicides (carbendazima and Fluziloazol, bonomil, tebuconizole, prochloraz or humid sulphur) to Kent and Tommy Atkins mango varieties. Also, a control was evaluated and plants with Bayfidan applications.

Oostthuyse 1998b

Powdery Mildew Control

Kent variety: the mix MKP application produced similar results than the Bayfidan application. Then, MKP alone was less effective than Bayfidan.

Oostthuyse 1998b

Powdery Mildew Control

The application of MKP mix in the Tommy Atkins variety was equally effective than the Bayfidan; and MKP alone was apparently less effective than Bayfidan.

Oostthuyse 1998b

Powdery Mildew Control

The colonization of Powderly Mildew, in both varieties, was reduced for all spray products applied. The results demonstrated that MKP applications are effective for retarding mildew at the inflorescence stage in mango; this can help to reduce control costs of this disease.

Ultrasol® K and Ultrasol® SOP 52 positive effect on floral induction

During September 2008 Steve Oosthuyse (SQM Africa) and Claudio Vicencio (SQM Latin America) visited the mango growing regions in Ecuador, Peru, and Northern Brazil. Since these regions are close to the equator, success in inducing flowering in this crop is vital for economic viability. Applying Ultrasol® K... Read More...

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