SA03WB-03: Pre and post nutrition management


Research Site / Demonstration Number: SA03WB-03

Grower Collaborator: Littabella Pines

Location 3: South Littabella Road, Yandaran

Initiation Date: December 2019

OUTLINE: To develop and evaluate an improved pre-plant and post plant nutrition program to improve fruit quality and yield in smooth cayenne pineapple in light to moderate low pH soils.


  • To investigate and improve the elemental ratios, frequency and timing of foliar fertiliser programs to pineapple fields.
  • To investigate and improve pre-plant nutritional programs with focus on the elemental requirements.
  • To undertake a cost analysis of the different nutritional program vs standard practices.
  • To increase yield and fruit quality in plant and ratoon crops.


The research trial has been undertaken in co-operation with Littabella Pines Yandaran –  Bundaberg. The location of the trial site is South Littabella Road, Yandaran.  The trial site has followed a previous crop of Smooth Cayenne which was taken to plant and ratoon crop. The previous crop harvested in Spring 2018 with major issues of phytophthora root rot, nematode and black beetle / white grub.

The soil was prepared to standard industry conditions with good soil tilth, no crop residue and good soil moisture with a soil pH of 4.2.  Weather leading up to application had good rainfall with temperatures ranging from 20 – 30 degrees Celsius.

Trial location prior to planting

Location Map – South Littabella Road, Yandaran


Ensure the soil is:

  • Tilth is fine
  • Free of trash / crop residue
  • Deep tillage has been undertaken using deep rippers twice – angled then straight.
  • Land has been levelled


Treatment 1

New Nutrition Program


  • Based of soil analysis recommendations using:
  • Nitrogen – Sulphate of Ammonia
  • Phosphorous – Mono Ammonium Phosphate
  • Potassum – Sulphate of Potash
  • Magnesium – Magnesium Sulphate
  • Calcium – Gypsum

Post Plant

Cropping age: 2- 4 months (pending season) – applied fortnightly:

Half Rate – Urea 25kg, Potash 60kg, Mag Sulphate 25kg in 2500L water per hectare

Cropping age: 5 months on – applied fortnightly:

Full Rate – Urea 50kg, Potash 115kg, Mag Sulphate 50kg in 2500L water per hectare

These are then rotated with:

  • 25kg MAP monthly Oct – Mar
  • 50kg MAP monthly Apr – Sept
  • 5kg Iron / 5kg Zinc monthly


Treatment 2

Industry Standard Program


  • Nitrogen / Phosphorous / Potassum – 1000 – 1500kg 77S
  • Magnesium / Calcium – Dolomite

Post Plant

  • Urea, Potash, Magnesium Sulphate applied monthly (see Best Practice Manual – nutrition chapter).


  • Yield per hectare – Plant and Ratoon: 24 and 48 months
  • Premium size (grade 1) – Plant and Ratoon: 24 and 48 months
  • Fruit Rejects – Plant and Ratoon: 24 and 48 months
  • Cost analysis: 48 months


Current Progress: Site has been selected, land prepared, pre-plant applied, hilled and planted.

Issues Encountered: Nil

Other Notes: $5,000 in funding has been secured to fund the research site through the Growcom Hort 360 program.