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  • Effects of nitrogen fertilizer application rate and time to first harvest on leaf area index; leaf nitrate content and yield of irrigated leaf rape (Brassica napus L. var. Giant)

    In Zimbabwe, smallholder cultivation of leaf rape is of considerable importance due to the increasing demand for the leaf vegetable from the rapidly increasing urban populations.  A two-season field trial was conducted in the Agricultural Practice Experimental Plots of the Midlands State University in central Zimbabwe. The objective of the study was to establish selected biometric responses of leaf rape to N fertilizer rates and time to first harvesting. Increasing the rate of N fertilizer application considerably improves the yield of fresh rape leaf; LAI and concentration of leaf nitrate. Delaying rape leaf harvest after N fertilizer side dressing can be used as a strategy to boost rape leaf yield for vegetable markets with high single delivery demand. When harvesting is deliberately delayed after N fertilizer application rape LAI are significantly increased. Delaying the first leaf harvests by 7; 14 and 21 days after N fertilizer side dressing amendments increases the content of nitrate in fresh rape leaves. Fresh rape yield can be more accurately predicted by values of rape LAI. Nitrate concentrations in fresh rape leaf is a poor predictor of rape yield under field conditions.

  • Top-dressing of paprika transplants in trays with fertilizers of phosphorus- and nitrogen surplus

    By our experiments, we wished to answer the question: may top-dressing with nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers, respectively, improve the quality of transplants grown in trays on a substrate enriched by 2 kg/m3 of retarded fertilizers?

    The experiments started in spring and autumn 2002, in a large volume plastic house. The seedlings were grown in trays. Seed was sown directly into KITE trays of 187 cells (28 cm3 volume per cell, 779 seedlings per square meter). The trays were filled by "loose filling" (without packing) with the following soil mixture: 50% Baltic highmoor peat, 50% 'Nitrite lowmoor peat, 1,5 kg/m3 feed chalk, 2 kg/m3 slow acting chemical fertilizer of phosphorus overweight, 2 kg/m3 superphosphate. The test plant was the vegetable paprika variety `Tizenegyes'.

    The trials were made in order to clear up if top-dressing done once or twice improves the quality of the seedlings. For this purpose, perfectly soluble fertilizers of phosphorus or nitrogen surplus were used. 3 I fertilizer solution of 0.2% concentration was given per square meter on every single occasion. The control plots received no top-dressing.

    The following parameters were registered: stem diameter, plant height, fresh weight of the top, dry matter content of the top, fresh weight of the root system per plant, dry matter content of the roots.

    The experimental results with top-dressing have clearly proved the insufficiency of mixing 2 kg/m3 of retarded fertilizer into the substrate, as usual in raising paprika seedlings in trays, because of the long period of transplant raising. According to our experiments the additional nitrogen fertilization influences positively the development of green parts of plants, while the multiple application of fertilizers with higher phosphorus-content helps to develop a strong root system. We suppose, that the more often applied additional fertilizers, maybe the combination of fertilizers with nitrogen and phosphorus amount could give use even better results.

  • Response of alternate bearing of “Badamy sefid” Pistachio cultivar to foliar application of some macro and micro elements

    Response of “Badamy sefid” Pistachio trees to spraying of fertilizer was studied over two years (2006–2007). The boron and zinc fertilizer were used just on swelling time of female flower bud in compare to no fertilization (control). Also nutritional solution combined of nitrogen (400 ppm), phosphorus (P2O5) (380 ppm), potasium (K2O) (520 ppm), Fe (5 ppm), Cu (2 ppm), Zn (2 ppm), Mn (2 ppm) in 1000 liter water per hectare sprayed at first week of May, third week of June and July). The concentration of some macro and micro elements in flower bud and in leaves, also productivity (g/shoot sectional area) mean nut weight, fresh weight of nut per cm2 branch cross sectional area, blanks nuts %, non-split nut %, new shoot growth length after cessation of growth and remained flower bud (%) at the next spring were recorded for the different treatments. The results showed that boron and zinc concentration increased in the bud of sprayed trees in compare to control. Application of nutritional solution decreased the flower bud abscission, also resulted in increased vegetative growth, nut weight, and productivity of trees. In conclusion, spraying of fertilizers in the suitable time to the pistachio trees might be a useful method in decreasing flower bud abscission and mitigating the alternate bearing.

  • Effects of a band application of polyolefin-coated diammonium phosphate on the nutritional quality of rhubarb and Swiss chard

    Dietary intake of large amounts of nitrates and oxalates presents a health hazard. In this study experiments were conducted with two oxalate accumulating vegetables rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum L.) and Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla L.)) using POC-DAP in order to improve their nutritional quality. In the rhubarb experiment oxalate content was significantly reduced by band application of POC-DAP, while effects on ascorbate and nitrate contents were ambiguous. The improved nutritional quality in the POC-DAP treatment was rather a cause of ammonium nutrition than a cause of less amount of released fertilizer nitrogen. In the Swiss chard experiment oxalate and nitrate contents were reduced, while ascorbate content was increased by a band application of POC-DAP. The improved nutritional quality in the POC-DAP treatment was the cause of both the less amount of released nitrogen and the realised ammonium nutrition. It was also found that by using POC-DAP for Swiss chard cultivation, labour and energy costs of top-dressings could be eliminated without yield decrease. It was concluded that the nutritional quality of rhubarb and Swiss chard could be improved by using a band application of POC­DAP.


  • Effect of N, P, K and Mg fertilizers on some vegetative and generative parameters of a sweet cherry cultivar

    This two-year-study was aimed to provide results on the effect of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium fertilizer treatments (control, NP, NPK, NPKMg) on vegetative and generative features of the sweet cherry cultivar ‘Carmen’. Examinations were performed in an orchard planted in 2012 on Prunus mahaleb rootstock with spacing of 5 x 2.5 m. All treatments improved the vegetative features of the sweet cherry trees in both years of 2016 and 2017. Fertilizer treated trees increased trunk cross section area (TCSA) with 51.3-63.1%, while control trees showed 48.3% trunk growth increase. Yields of control trees were lower in both years (5.9-7.2 kg/tree), than that of the fertilized trees (7.8-11.3 kg/tree). Treatments also increased the phosphorus (16-22%), magnesium (12-20%) and potassium content (3.5-18%) of the fruits compared to control treatments.

  • The salt tolerance of vegetable paprika varieties

    In our experiments, we have chiefly tested the salt sensitivity of sweet pepper varieties. In cold forcing, 0.3 1/plant nutrient solutions of different NaCI content were given twice weekly. EC of the nutrient solutions containing 0.25% Volldünger Linz complex fertilizer was made up to 6, 10, 14 and 18 mS/cm, respectively, by 2.51/9.17/17.97/26.76 g/m2 doses of pharmacopeal NaCI every week. The solution used for the control treatment contained Volldünger only (EC 4.4 mS/cm). Irrigation was made with pure water (EC 0.6 mS/cm) when necessary.

    The varieties chosen for the experiments were the following: Feherözön, HRF F1, Syn. Cecei (of white, conical fruit), Boni (of white, blunt, infolded fruit), Titan F1 (of pointed, hot fruit) and Pritavit F1 (of tomato shaped fruit).

    In general, the symptoms caused by NaCI treatments (with doses higher than 10 g/m2 weekly) have been the following:

    • They have reduced the leaf area, the height of the plants, the total and the early yield, the number of fruit set per square meter, the average weight of the fruit (and, in some measure, fruit length, too) and the thousand seed weight.
    • They have increased the calcium and the chlorine content of the leaves and fruits and the dry matter content of the fruits.
    • They haven't affected the dry matter content of the leaves, the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content of the leaves and fruits, and the germinating ability of the seed.
    • The effect on stem diameter and on seed production per fruit has been contradictory in some cases.

    The effects of the intermediate treatments haven't been explicit in several cases.

    The results of the examination of cuticular secretion have indicated the increase of the sodium and chlorine content of the leaves. This can be important in field growing where the rainwater may wash out a part of sodium and chlorine from paprika leaves.

    The hot, pointed variety and the tomato shaped paprika haven't shown clearly higher salt tolerance than the varieties of white fruit colour.

  • The effects of foliar nutrition containing various macro and microelements on the growth and development of young grafted walnut (Juglans regia L.) plants

    The Stopgril liquido (S), a foliar fertilizer containing nitrogen, calcium and magnesium was used to improve the spring and the summer growth of grafted walnut plants in the second year of cultivation in the nursery. To accomplish early termination of vegetative growth and good lignification, the composed mineral fertilizer Hascon M 10 AD (H) containing phosphorous, potassium and microelements B, Mn and Mo was applied on the same plants. Four treatments (S, H, SH, C) were applied three times in a growing season. Their effects on the height and the basal diameter of the plants in the nursery depended on the starting height of the plants and the time of application. During the first growth period in the orchard, the number of developed buds on the plant, the circumference of the plants and their height were influenced by the treatment in the previous year in the nursery. According to the results obtained through the investigation, three applications of Stopgril + Hascon in the nursery per year can be recommended in order to obtain high enough and well lignified two-year-old grafted walnut plants.

  • Effect of Foliar Nutrition on Post-Harvest of Onion Seed under Sandy Soil and Saline Irrigation Water Conditions

    Foliar application has been determined to be an effective nutrients delivery strategy in vegetable and fruits. The enhancement of vegetable and fruit yields affected by foliar nutrients application has been recognized in previously conducted studies with perennial tree crops. The efficiency of foliar nutrition is dependent on soil, climate, fertilizer and the amount of nitrogen used. There is no sufficient information concerning cooperation of foliar nutrition with all nutrients form as well as the rates of these nutrients fertilization in vegetable
    and fruit crops. Two successive winter seasons of 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 were conducted under sandy soil conditions to study the effect of spraying with 12 commercial compounds on inflorescences diameter, flower stalk length, number of seed stem /plant, weight of 1000 seed, germination percentage, seed yield, moisture content, catalase , peroxidase activity and malondialdehyde content of onion seeds. The plants
    sprayed with union Zn, union Mn, union feer, shams k, elga 600, boron, and amino x had the highest vegetative growth parameter, germination percent and enzyme activity. The plants sprayed with union Zn, union feer, shams K, magnesium, caboron, hummer and amino X had the highest seed yield ha-1. The seeds were stored for one year to study the effect of different commercial compounds and storage temperatures on germination, moisture content and change in antioxidant enzymes activities of onion seeds during the storage period. Storage at cold temperature showed higher germination percent, moisture content and lower malondialdehyde content than storage at room temperature. The treatment with union Zn, union feer, union Mn, boron, elga 600, caboron, amica, hummer and amino x had the highest germination percent.

  • Reducing nitrate content in lettuce using polyolefin-coated fertilizers

    Pot experiments were conducted in order to investigate the effects of the controlled-release characteristic, nitrogen form and application method of polyolefin-coated fertilizers on the nitrate content and yield of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Comparing broadcast application of polyolefin-coated urea (POCU) and urea at four fertilization levels, it was found that application of POCU decreased the nitrate content and increased the yield, due solely to its controlled-release characteristic. Comparing band applications of POCU or polyolefin-coated diammonium-phosphate (POC-DAP) to broadcast application of ammonium nitrate, it was found that a band application of both urea and ammonium containing polyolefin-coated fertilizers can decrease nitrate content in lettuce, without causing any significant yield decrease. This was a combined effect of the controlled-release characteristic and realized ammonium nutrition. Comparing effects of broadcast, band and spot applications of POC-DAP, it was found that nitrate content, was the lowest in the spot application treatment. However, considering both nitrate content and yield, band application was found to be the most effective application method.