Silicon (Si): Beneficial Element for Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.)

. DJAJADI

Abstract


Silicon (Si) is one of the most abundant elements in the earth’s crust, but it is mostly inert and only slightly soluble and available to plants. Source of Si in the earth are minerals and biogenic pools.  Sugarcane is known to absorb more Si than any othermineral nutrient, with the potential to accumulate up to 400 kg/ha of Si during 12-month growth period.  Due to sugarcane is planted more than one season in the same soil (ratoon system cropping), it might cause the soil has low content of Si. Significant effect of silicon treatment on both cane and sugar yields, have been reported in several countries including Hawaii, Mauritius, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Florida and Australia. In America, addition of Si fertilizer increased cane yield and sugar yield 36% and 50% respectively. However, in Indonesia Si fertilizer application on sugarcane land is still scare. In Indonesia, research is required with focus on identification of Si soil status to determine strategy of Si fertilizing in efforts to increase yield and maintain the sustainability of sugarcane cropping.

Key words: Saccharum officinarum L, Si, yield, biotic, abiotic


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21082/p.v12n1.2013.%25p

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