IPI International Potash Institute
IPI International Potash Institute

Research Findings: e-ifc No. 42, September 2015

Sukadana site, East Lampung, Indonesia. Photo by A. Taufiq.

Response of Cassava (Manihot esculenta crantz.) to Potassium Application on Acidic Dryland in Indonesia

Taufiq, A.(1)(1a), Subandi(1), and H. Suyamto(1)
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(1)Indonesian Legumes and Tuber Crops Research Institute, Jl. Raya Kendalpayak km 8, PO Box 66, Malang 65101 East Java, Indonesia.
(1a)Corresponding author: ofic_rilet@yahoo.com.
Note: IPI acknowledge Mr. Alexey Shcherbakov, former IPI Coordinator for Southeast Asia, for his contribution to this project.


Lampung district is among the major cassava producers in Indonesia. The soils of the region are acidic, with very low cation exchange capacity and negligible organic matter content. Assuming that potassium (K) availability is a limiting factor for cassava cropping under the given conditions, the effects of K fertilizer at six seasonal doses (0, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 180 kg K2O ha-1) applied once (15 days after planting), and one treatment attributed to farmers’ practice, were examined at two locations, Sukadana and Rumbia. All K fertilizer treatments were combined with 135 kg N ha-1 and 36 kg P2O5 ha-1, except one treatment with 200 kg N ha-1 and 60 kg P2O5 ha-1. Urea (46% N), SP36 (36 kg P2O5), and KCl (60% K2O) were used as the source of N, P, and K fertilizer, respectively. While K doses hardly affected soil properties at harvest, they had obvious correlative influences on plant growth, organ K contents, and tuber yields. An optimum dose of 60-90 kg K2O ha-1 seemed to satisfy cassava requirements in Sukadana, whereas the adequate dose in Rumbia was a bit higher. Nevertheless, some evidence indicates that the potential for K fertilization and other means to improve cassava production in this region is considerably higher. Measures, such as division of the seasonal K dose into many frequent applications, and supplementation of composted organic matter, in order to enhance soil fertility and cassava crop performance, are discussed.

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