Influence of Various Forms of Foliar Application on Root Yield of Sugar Beet

Influence of Various Forms of Foliar Application on Root Yield of Sugar Beet 2021

by Arkadiusz Artyszak and Dariusz Gozdowski

Institute of Agriculture, Warsaw University of Life Sciences—SGGW, Nowoursynowska 159, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland

Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: William A. Payne and Lorenzo Barbanti
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080693
Received: 14 June 2021 / Revised: 13 July 2021 / Accepted: 22 July 2021 / Published: 23 July 2021

Abstract​

The Green Deal adopted by the European Commission assumes a significant reduction in the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. It is necessary to search for environmentally safe technologies that will prevent a reduction in crop yield. One of such methods, which was examined in the study, is the foliar application of silicon, which can have a positive effect on root yield and its quality. In the period 2017–2019, a field experiment was carried out in which the effectiveness of the application of various forms of silicon (orthosilicic acid, a mixture of orthosilicic and polysilicic acid and calcium silicate) in sugar beet cultivation was assessed. The applied treatments of foliar application increased the root yield by 10.7–11.7%, the biological sugar yield by 8.4–12% and the pure sugar yield by 7.2–11.8% as compared to the control treatment. The differences between the individual treatments in terms of these characteristics were insignificant. Their impacts on the technological quality of roots (content of sugar, α-amino nitrogen, potassium and sodium) were different.

Keywords: foliar fertilization; Beta vulgaris; orthosilicic acid; silica nanoparticles; calcium silicate

1. Introduction​

Sugar beet is the main raw material for sugar production in Europe. In 2019, it covered an area of 1.64 million ha in the European Union (28 countries) [1]. The production of sugar beet is limited by abiotic and biotic stress factors. The “farm to fork” strategy adopted by the European Commission assumes a significant limitation of the use of plant protection products and mineral fertilizers [2]. In order to prevent a reduction in sugar beet production, it is necessary to search for modern and environmentally safe production methods. An innovative method to limit their impact on sugar yields is the foliar application of products containing silicon (Si) [3]. This treatment primarily increases the tolerance of plant to water stress. It contributes to the growth of the root yield and usually does not significantly affect the technological quality of the roots, which in turn increases the biological yield of sugar and pure sugar yield.
It is commonly believed that the best effects are obtained with foliar silicon in the form of stabilized orthosilicic acid [4]. The research results show that good results in sugar beet production can be obtained by using marine calcite [5,6,7,8], a mixture of orthosilicic and polysilicic acids [4,8], potassium silicate [9] or silica nanoparticles [10,11].
The aim of the study is to assess the effectiveness of the foliar application of silicon-containing products in the form of orthosilicic acid, a mixture of orthosilicic and polysilicic acid and calcium silicate on the root yield, technological quality, biological sugar yield and pure sugar yield and indicate which effect is the strongest for the studied traits.
The following research hypothesis was assumed: the foliar application of various forms of silicon in sugar beet cultivation has a diversified impact on the root yield, technological quality as well as the biological and pure yield of sugar.

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