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Completed project

Optimising nutrient management for improved productivity and fruit quality in mangoes (ST16004)

Key research provider: The Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Resources
Publication date: Thursday, April 30, 2020

What was it all about?

This investment was one component of a larger collaborative program spanning the horticulture, cotton, dairy and sugar sectors, funded through the Australian Government’s Rural R&D for Profit initiative.

Led by the Cotton Research & Development Corporation, More Profit From Nitrogen: enhancing the nutrient use efficiency of intensive cropping and pasture systems was established to help primary producers increase nitrogen use efficiency. This particular sub-project, which involved the mango R&D levy, developed information on nitrogen requirements and management in mango crops to help increase the quantity and quality of mango yields.

While the broader work is still being concluded, findings for mangoes have included:

  • Confirmation that spraying low concentrations of potassium nitrate (KNO3) at flowering and fruit set is a useful technique for the rapid supply of nitrogen into trees. Around 25 to 40 per cent of the nitrogen component of low-percentage KNO3 sprays can be taken up across the cuticles and into leaves.

  • A significant quantity of nitrogen cycles annually within orchards, with litter playing a key role in recycling a large portion of total crop nutrient requirements.

  • While higher applications of nitrogen have been linked to skin staying green as mangoes ripen post-harvest, this work found that ethylene treatment used to enhance fruit ripening may also contribute to reduced post-harvest quality.

More information on the broader More Profit From Nitrogen program can be found at

Related levy funds

This project was funded through the Australian Government's Rural R&D for Profit program, with additional contributions from the mango R&D levy through the Hort Innovation Mango Fund