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Applied K Fertilizer Use Efficiency in Pineapples Grown on a Tropical Peat Soil Under Residues Removal

Abstract: In Malaysia, pineapples are grown on peat soils, but most K fertilizer recommendations do not take into account K loss through leaching. The objective of this study was to
determine applied K use efficiency under a conventionally recommended fertilization regime in pineapple cultivation with residues removal. Results showed that K recovery
from applied K fertilizer in pineapple cultivation on tropical peat soil was low, estimated at 28%. At a depth of 0–10 cm, there was a sharp decrease of soil total K, exchangeable
K, and soil solution K days after planting (DAP) for plots with K fertilizer. This decline continued until the end of the study. Soil total, exchangeable, and solution K at the end
of the study were generally lower than prior values before the study. There was no significant accumulation of K at depths of 10–25 and 25–45 cm. However, K
concentrations throughout the study period were generally lower or equal to their initial status in the soil indicating leaching of the applied K and partly explained the low K
recovery. Potassium losses through leaching in pineapple cultivation on tropical peat soils need to be considered in fertilizer recommendations for efficient recovery of
applied K.