New Evidence of Benefits of Balanced Fertilization
Evidence from China shows that precise use of fertilizer makes a significant difference to wax gourd yield, resulting in better returns for farmers.
Recent research by the Vegetable Research Institute of the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Guangzhou compared 6 different fertilizer strategies for wax gourds.
Vegetable Matters in the Local Economy
Also known in China as winter melon, wax gourd is an important crop economically. It is a fast-growing, long-season vine grown for its very large fruit, eaten as a vegetable when mature. The plant produces fruits on vines on the ground, which can grow to more than 20 kg in weight.
Production of quality gourds can be limited by a number of factors, including not enough irrigation, but inadequate crop nutrition is a serious problem. In the research to develop best practice for farmers to follow, the Research Institute trials compared a variety of farmers’ practices with improved practices: three crop nutrition treatments used variants of farmers’ practice of just NPK applications, and another three treatments combined early use of NPK with topdressing with NPK plus ICL’s Polysulphate® fertilizer.
Larger, Heavier, and Better
Analysis of the effects of the different treatments revealed that the wax gourd crop benefited from topdressing with Polysulphate. These plots produced larger and heavier fruits with improved keeping quality. Yield was up by as much as 36% with Polysulphate, compared with wax gourd vines only given NPK.
Net Income Up by 37%
Investing in targeted nutrition for crops can require additional investment. However, the evidence from this research in China shows that the net income to wax gourd farmers who used Polysulphate increased by more than 37% after expenditure.