Nutrient Management in High Density Apple Orchards – A Review
Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology,
All plants require a sufficient supply of essential nutrients to reach their potential, and deficiency of any single nutrient is enough to limit yield. Supply of adequate quantities of nutrients is essential for sustainable high yield and good quality fruits over a long period. The nutritional requirements are different during the vegetative and reproductive growth stages, thus these requirements must be met as per their needs. Nutritional requirements are ascertained through soil chemical analysis, leaf analysis and loss of nutrients through crop production. Due to the effective role of macro and micronutrients in orchard productivity, nutrient management has become as important as other cultural practices in high density orchards. Nutrient management is simply based on 4R's concept i.e right source, right rate, right time and right method. The phenological period and frequency of uptake determine the application time and the quantity of nutrient to be applied. Different methods of fertilization are used in fruit production, including fertilization with mineral fertilizers (conventional type), fertigation, foliar nutrition and a range of other methods. Due to various reasons, in high density orchards priority is given to fertigation and foliar nutrition. The high effectiveness of fertigation results from the possibility of applying optimal concentrations of fertilizing solutions and a higher root density in the wetted soil volume. Plant nutrient availability and their uptake rely upon various factors like soil texture, pH, temperature and moisture, maintaining all these factors is an important goal of orchard nutrient management programme. A better understanding of nutrient interactions is essential in understanding the importance of balanced supply of nutrients. Nutrient use efficiency in orchards can be improved by making the use of controlled release fertilizers (CRF’s), biofertilizers and enhancing the use of organic matter.
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