The effect of climatic anomalies on the nutrient supply of fruit plantations (Minireview)

Climatic conditions play an important role in agricultural production. It has a profound influence on the growth, development and yields of a crop, incidence of pests and diseases, water needs and fertilizer requirements in terms of differences in nutrient mobilization due to water stresses. Nowadays, we have to know the dark side of the weather events because it is causing more and more problems and significant hazards to many horticultural regions in Hungary. The aim of this study is to explore the problems of nutrient uptake following climatic anomalies and response. These problems are: (i) water supply problems (water-stress); (ii) drought and frost as temperature­ strees. Reviewing the effects and nutrient disorders caused by climatic anomalies, the following statements can be taken:

  • Nutrient demand of trees can be supplied only under even worse conditions.
  • The most effective weapon against damage of climatic anomalies is preventative action.
  • When developing a fruit orchard, three factors should be taken into consideration: "Location, Location, Location".
  • Moreover, proper choice of cultivars, species and cultivation should provide further possibilities to avoid and moderate the effects of climatic anomalies.
  • Fruit growing technologies especially nutrition should be corrected and adjusted to the climatic events as modifier factors.
  • Urgent task of the near future is to correct and adjust the tested technologies of fruit growing according to these climatic events as modifier factors.

Optimal nutrient supply of trees decreases the sensitivity for unexpected climatic events. To solve these problems supplementary, foliar fertilization is recommended, which adjusted to phonological phases of trees.

Another solving is groundcover of soil means a potential opportunity to temper or even avoid climatic anomalies.

The effect of potassium fertilization on the inner values of spice pepper

To reserve the fertility of soil is the basic condition of successful cultivation. The field specific nutrient supply, based on soil tests is very important in both economy and ecology aspects. Spice pepper plants have high nutrient demands. Proper nutrient supply has importance not only from the point of potential yield levels, but make a major contribution to quality. This is the reason which necessitates the rational development of nutrient supply as an the elements of the production technology. Our objective was to offer a contribution to this job through our nutrient trials. Experiments on the nutrient supply of spice pepper were set up in the 2005 growing season in order to decide whether yields and fruit composition parameters of pepper could be increased by means of increased K fertiliser closes with lower N:K ratios. Several forms of potassium were used, as well as applying microelement top dressings in the single treatments. It was found that higher K doses lead to increased yields, and the influence on dry matter and pigment content proved beneficial too. Potassium applied in the form of patentkali seemed to be better than in that of potassium-sulphate.

Some relationships between soil and nutrient requirements and nutrient supply of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) with respect to types grown in Hungary

Exports and local marketability of both pepper protected cultivation and open field pepper production depend on whether we succeed in the near future achieving developments capable of bringing about significant improvement of yield and quality, as well as enhanced yield security. Results from experiments and surveys carried out on farms involved in production suggest that nutrient management is one of the factors whose development could considerably improve the marketability of pepper. Technological improvements in the field of nutrient supply are also urged by the more and more demanding environmental regulations, so it is inevitable to introduce a balanced system of nutrient supply system for pepper as well. The article is a collection and summary of the relevant results of 30-year experimental work in Hungary.

Effects of irregular cropping on nutrient uptake and status of apple trees

Produce of harmonic nutrient balance and status of trees is basic task of growers for qualified fruit growing. The role of crop loaded is essential to grow the productivity of trees without nutrient disorder or other nutritional problems. To reduce the frequency of biennial bearing there are some ways (site and species selection, crop regulation, irrigation, nutrition etc.) from them one is the best easy way the proper site and species oriented nutrition. Sometimes the responsible for irregular cropping is the insufficient fertilization. Observed irregular cropping at two apple cultivars (Malus domestica Borkh., cv. ‘Summerred’ and cv. ‘Mutsu’) in an integrated apple orchard at Hajdúnánás-Tedej, in 2007 resulted a chance to determine nutritional status of “bearing” and “non bearing” trees and investigate the effects of irregular cropping on nutrient uptake and possibilities of correction. Our results pointed out that irregularity is connection on nutrition status of trees. Irregular cropping results in insufficient nutrient uptake and disharmony of nutrients. For this reason, the establishment of nutrient status of “non bearing” trees is could permit a chance to correct and improve the nutrient supply of trees which help to breakdown the vicious circle of irregularity.

Effect of water supply on nutrient transport in grapevine varieties

The effect of water supply on availability of macro nutrient elements (N, P, K) by the plants in the soil and their transport in the plants were examined. In a field experiment two grapevine varieties characterized by higher (White Riesling B 7) and lower (Kövidinka K 8) water requirement were compared on the basis of N, P, K concentrations of leaf blades, petioles and berries. A different water supply of the vineyard was achived by striped coverage of the soil with plastic foil to exclude rainfalls from the beginning of May to ripening. Humidity of the soil decreased as the vegetative phase advanced. Soil cover resulted in 25-30% decrease of the water content in the soil at flowering but this difference gradually disappeared till veraison (i.e. the start of intense growth of the berries). The water consumption in the White Riesling B 7 plantation was more intensive. Mobility and availability of N, P, K in the soil was restricted by water exclusion (i.e. plastic soil cover) at flowering. Nitrogen was slightly affected, whereas P and K were in a higher extent. Comparing the transport of nutrient elements in the two varieties, leaf blades of Kövidinka K 8 contained less N and more P and K than White Riesling B 7 at flowering and more N and P and less K at ripening. Water deficiency inhibited K accumulation in the berries of White Riesling B 7, while this effect did not appear in Kövidinka K 8.Water exclusion decreased the yield of White Riesling B 7 already at lower bud loading, the yield of Kövidinka K 8 was affected only at higher bud loading. The higher yields of the treatments in Kövidinka K 8 plantation support the superior performance of this variety under the hot and dry climate of the Hungarian Great Plain.

Role of nutrient supply in yield increase and quality improvement of spice pepper

Hungarian spice pepper powder is a unique product, a real hungaricum with its flavour and aroma compounds and seasoning effect. Its competitiveness with foreign spice peppers is ensured by its high biological value deriving from the specially Hungarian production and processing technology. Besides the traditional and highly manual labour intensive processing technology, there are some modern industrial technologies as well, where high quality can be guaranteed only by producing excellent base material (raw pepper pods). This is the reason which necessitates the rational development of the elements of the production technology, such as nutrient supply. Our objective was to offer a contribution to this aim by our trials in plant nutrition.

Experiments on the nutrient supply of spice pepper were set up in the 2003 growing season in order to decide whether yields and fruit composition parameters of pepper could be increased by means of increased K fertiliser doses with lower N:K ratios. Several forms of potassium were used, as well as applying microelement top dressings in the single treatments. It was found that the increase of N:K ratio from I:1 to 1:6 did not increase yields, but resulted in higher pigment and dry matter content. Microelement top dressing had a yield increasing effect at each N:K ratio. Higher potassium doses did not accelerate ripening.

Nutrient demand of stone fruits

Effects of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilization were investigated on the change of nutrient content, vegetative and generative production of apricot, peach and sour cherry trees, as well as on frost hardiness in long term experiments. Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization increased only the concentration of these elements in cherry leaves without effect on growth and yield. Consequent potassium effect was proved on these stone fruit species. Effect on yield appeared following the first higher crop load.

Potassium supply has positive effect on frost hardiness of apricot and sour cherry flowers and peach flower buds.

In peach, the lime content of soil decreased the yield but it could be compensated by potassium dressing to some extent. Favourable nutrient boundary values were determined for soil and foliage.

Organic and mineral fertilizer effects on the yield and mineral contents of carrot (Daucus carota)

A greenhouse pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of ammonium-nitrate, food waste compost, bacterial fertilizer (EM-1) and their combinations on production and nutrient contents of carrot. The study was conducted on a calcareous chernozem and acidic sandy soils in a randomized complete block design with 8 treatments and four replications. NH4NO3 in chernozem soil increased the weight of carrot leaves only, while in sandy soil resulted in reduced yield and highly increased NO3-N content of roots. Sandy soil showed higher response of biomass production to food waste compost application than chernozem soil. The highest carotenoid content of roots was measured with compost treatment. Combined application of compost and NH4NO3 in chernozem proved to be good combination but in sandy soil have turn out to be less favourable than sole compost treatment. Bacterial fertilizer (EM-1) did not cause marked effect on the yield parameters, but caused increased phosphorus content of plant. In chernozem soil the maximum yield parameters were achieved with the combined treatment of ammonium-nitrate+compost+EM-1. In sandy soil the most favourable treatment proved to be the compost treatment. Results suggest that application of food waste compost as a nutrient source could be a promising agrochemical practice especially in soils having low organic material and low nutrient supply.

N:K ratio and its effect on paprika yield and quality in hydroculture

Earlier results of experiments with paprika grown in soil have shown the high sensitivity of the crop to nutrient supply. According to these findings, yield and also fruit quality are highly affected not only by the nitrogen and potassium level, the concentration of nutrient solution, but also by the nitrogen-potassium ratio. Our preliminary tests have also proved, that the composition of the nutrient solution, first of all, the N/K ratio has a definite effect on the yield quantity and quality. Therefore we have investigated the ratio of the two nutrients with the aim of developing a nutrient solution of optimal composition for white fruited paprika forcing. The most balanced burden of the plants was found when the N/K ratio was 1:1. The highest yield was produced with N/K 1:1.3. Significant yield reduction (30%) was found with the treatment N/K 1:1.9 as compared to the 1:1.3 and 1:1.6.

Utilisation of nutrients by cucumber plants oil rockwool substrate

Cucumber production by soil less culture on rockwool substrate in Hungary is an open system regarding its water and nutrient supply. Environmental and economical reasons require the recycling of nutrients of the system. Experiments have been planned in order to estimate the utilisation of individual nutrient elements applied. All around the vegetation period, chemical analyses monitored the depletion of the elements initially administered by sampling the solutions at successive phases from the injection to the overflow. The results have been compared with earlier experiences refering to general rules. It has been stated that the intensity of photosynthesis is decisive in determining the composition of the overflow. The less changes are observed during the period of frequent watering.

The absorption of the nutrient elements varied between 25-51% deperiding on the individual elements. The differences are significant. Further examinations are needed in order to clear:

  • which are the main elements of technology, which are decisive in utilisation of nutrients
  • what are the possibilities of the secondary utilisation of nutrients.
Importance of orchard floor management in organic fruit growing (nutritional aspects)

Worldwide research goals and concerns are to soil conservation and improve. This conception is mostly actual in horticulture where the numbers of high-density plantings are continuously increasing. High-density orchards cause more intensive nutrient and water uptake. So that the preservation of soil moisture and nutrient level are key factors in qualified fruit growing. On the other hand due to the climatic changes the water supply of trees will be satisfied among worse conditions than some decades ago. Appearance of water supply problems and water stress is increased in organic growing, where the number of corrections is limited anyway. Furthermore, floor management is a successful tool in weed management which causes many problems for organic growers due to the prohibition of synthetic herbicides. This paper will mainly focus on the nutritional aspects of methods of orchard floor management for growers adopting organic fruit management to make their production profitable.

Interaction of nutrient supply and crop load of apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.)

Long term fertilisation trials were combined with storage experiments with 'Jonathan' apple trees and fruits to study influence of tree nutrition on quantity and quality of crop. The site of experiments is a typical Carpathian-basin environment with loamy silt soil, high lime content and arid summers. Conclusions has been drown from six years' set of data. Augmented levels of soil fertilisation increased cropping capacity of apple trees, however, the fruit load has not met with cropping capacity in every year. More the def cit came into view in crop load, less the fruit quality resulted in. The deficit in cropping capacity, however, could not have been determined with simple rates as fruit weight per trunk circumference or similar. Better determination was obtained where foliar nutrient contents were correlated to crop per tree figures. In general terms, the N and Ca content in leaves increased with yields when K and P content formulated reciprocally. When storage quality of 'Jonathan' apple fruits were related to crop load (kg/tree), influence of crop deficit became visible. As the crop load and foliar nutrient levels interacted, the fruit quality (number of disordered apples after 6 month of storage) subjected of both physiological phenomena. Higher determination degree were obtained when crop load was assessed together with single or multiple foliar analysis data.

Field trials with non-bactericide products to control fire blight in apple orchards

Recently, novel strategies and chemical agents for prophylactic protection against the bacterial (Erwinia amylovora) disease fire blight are being sought. Resistance-inducing compounds, such as prohexadione-Ca represent promising alternatives. Prohexadione-Ca is the active ingredient of the bioregulator Regalis, currently being introduced in several European countries and overseas. Another product used in this study was Biomit Plussz, a leaf fertiliser providing harmonic supply of nutrient elements, the complete supply is assumed to improve the tolerance against diseases.

Treatments' effects of both of these products were compared to the effectiveness of treatments with antibiotics repeated twice, three or four times a season.

In the years of 2001 and 2002, the effectiveness of both Regalis and Biomit Plussz in reduction of incidence of shoot blight was similar, or proved to be superior to the check treatments consisting of repeated sprayings of antibiotics. Last year (2003) treatments of streptomycin resulted — although within the same magnitude — in a somewhat better control of shoot blight than sprayings with the other compounds.

As regards severity of blossom blight, inconsistent results were recorded concerning both Regalis and Biomit Plussz.

In general, prohexadione-Ca is less efficient for controlling flower infection by E. amylovora as compared to shoot infections, since successful prophylactic treatments are difficult to carry out early in the season. The highest effectiveness in fire blight management can, therefore, be achieved by using prohexadione-Ca (as preventive protection) in combination with streptomycin or other suitable antibiotics (as curative protection).

Investigation of nitrate accumulation in green pepper

Pepper, despite being among the vegetables consumed in largest quantities, does not play an important role as a nitrate source due to the low nitrate accumulation capacity of the cultivars grown in Hungary. Iii the classification of the average nitrate levels or that of the detected hazardous levels it can be sorted into the very 'favorable' class not exceeding 200 and 500 mg/kg respectively. The different elements of the production technology, this way the N supply, do not influence significantly the amount of nitrate accumulated within pepper fruits.

Spectral properties of strawberry plants

Strawberry varieties were studied in 3 different growing areas of different soil- and ecological properties in Hungary. We have measured the optical spectra of the leaves together with their nutrient content and performed sensory examinations on the deep frozen and melted fruit. The 6 varieties were Elsanta, Marianna, Spadeka, Symphony, Camarosa, and Raurica. The 3 sites were Újfehértó, Pölöske, and Kecskemet. Colour of the leaves was characterised by their lightness and dominant wavelength. Under non-optimal soil and ecological conditions the varieties could be distinguished by their colour — the leaves became lighter and more yellow. The fruits did not produce the genetically determined taste if the plant can not grow in optimal circumstances — we found a negative correlation between the leaf colour in flowering time and the fruit flavour. Leaf colour measurements performed in flowering time make it possible to improve fruit quality by changing the nutrient supply between flowering and ripening.

Nutrition of the micropropagated fruit trees in vitro and ex vitro

Some experience or details are introduced in connection with the nutrient uptake of micropropagated fruit trees in the different phase of the in vitro or ex vitro development. It can be stated, that the plants during the micropropagation procedure are overfed. Special careful nutrient supply is necessary during the acclimatization.

Study on the micronutrient content of soil and leaf of an organic apple orchard in Eastern Hungary

The aim of our study was to investigate the relationship between micronutrient content of soil and leaf in an organic apple orchard. The experiment was carried out at the Experimental Site of the University of Debrecen, Centre of Agricultural Sciences at Pallag in an apple cultivar collection in Eastern Hungary in 2002-2004. The soil sampling was carried out twice per year, at the beginning and the end of the vegetation period in 2002, 2003 and 2004, respectively. The micronutrient content of leaf of seven apple cultivars (Jonagold, Mutsu, Idared, Red Elstar, Egri piros, Reka, Remo) was studied according to phenological phases of apple (April — September) to investigate the dynamism of plant nutrient uptake.

It was found that results of leaf analysis correlated with the obtained results of soil. According to the data of July, manganese and copper content of leaf is in the 'favourable' but zinc is the 'low' range of nutrient supply category. Moreover, there were significant differences in the micronutrient content of leaf among cultivars. From our results it is evident that more reliable data were obtained for fruit nutrition by determining of micronutrient content of soil and plant and calculate their ratios as well.

Nutritional aspects of producing fruits organically

Recent interest to avoid use of agrochemicals in fruit growing to safeguard environmental and human health has stimulated interest in organic fruit production (OFP) all over the world. Organic production requires a holistic approach to agricultural ecosystem management. Because of the perennial nature of orchards, this is not a great departure from conventional orchard management, except that corrective techniques are limited primarily to naturally derived materials. Organic mineral nutrition management hinges on two principles: 1) practices that lead to the build up and maintenance of soil that is biologically active and high in organic matter; 2) supplementing the mineral nutrients provided by the soil with fertilizers from approved sources. Organic orchards should be sited on land with superior soils and preplant soil preparation to increase organic matter and correct any sub-optimal soil characteristics. For successful organic fruit growing the following statement should be considered:Weed management is critical to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Soil and leaf analysis provide the basis for correcting mineral nutrient deficiencies or imbalances in organic production. It may be necessary to use a number of strategies to supply mineral nutrients over the life of the orchard. The slower, natural methods applied require a management approach that is simultaneously patient and dynamic.

Comparative analysis of sweet cherry cultivars on their ecological and biological indicators

Sweet cherries are slightly more demanding than sour cherries. It is grown in warmer areas around the world. The relative ecological values obtained for the varieties obtained by extensive data collection differ slightly from the leading descriptions. Warm and demanding. The woody parts tolerate the cool of the winter quite well, the flower buds are damaged by the spring frosts. Its water demand is medium, in the case of 550 mm of annual rainfall, it adorns well on loose soils with good nutrient supply. Airy ground, neutral soil (pH 5.5-7.5) is optimal, but not suitable for areas with strongly calcareous, stagnant, stagnant groundwater. From the start of ripening, sudden rainfall, stormy winds and birds can cause great damage. Highlighting the world’s leading varieties in the study (Bing, Rainier, Chelan, Van and Burlat) (Iezzoni et al., 1991, Faust & Surányi, 1997) - according to relative ecological and biological values, the most popular cherries are mainly they differed from the other varieties based on TB and KB. Open pollination and with it, the productivity of the varieties exceeded the overall variety average precisely because of the breeding objectives. Certainly, the analysis of historical varieties, the oldest landscape and local varieties based on relative ecological and biological values can help further pomological-ecological research.

Irrigation management of a peach orchard

The research field was at Siófok, in Hungary, which is situated in the South East side of Lake Balaton. The physical characteristic of the soil is sandy loam and loam and the peach orchard is irrigated. Mainly Sweet Lady (early ripening), Red Heaven (medium ripening) and Weinberger (early ripening) species were installed. In order to achieve the optimal developement level of trees and maximal yield amount and fruit diameter (Sweet Lady 60–75 mm, Red Heaven 60–70 mm, Veinberger 50–60 mm) continous water and nutrient supply is required. The irrigation modeling was set by CROPWAT 8.0 based on the climatic, crop and soil data inputs of the last 10 years. Based on the results, large amount of water is needed for optimal growth of fruit trees, particularly in the summer months, in case of active ground cover (+) and bare soil (–) as well. The irrigation requirement of a tree was found maximum 4 l/hour in certain cases. This irrigation intensity can be achieved – calculated with 12-hour operating time – by using continuous water NAAN Tif drip tube with 2 l/h flux on 3 atm pressure with 16 mm pipe diameter. If lower irrigation intensity is required irrigation can be controlled by the decreased the operation time.

The influence of nitrogen-fertilizer and harvest time on the productivity of Thymus vulgaris L.

The influence of nitrogen-fertilizer applied in 0, 50, 100 and 150 kg/ha dosages, as well as the time of the harvest carried out in full flowering and early fruit set stages were studied on the herb and essential oil production of garden thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). The small plot experiment was installed in the Experimental Field of Tarbiat Modarres University near Teheran, under sandy loam soil conditions. On the basis of the results the nitrogen-fertilizer had a significant effect on the dry-matter production of the species: the herb yield, calculated on one hectare, increased from 671.88 kg up to 1021.00 kg value as a result of 150 kg nitrogen dosage. The essential oil yield proved to have a similar tendency because neither the accumulation level of essential oil, nor the ratio of thymol were effected by the nutrient supply. Analyzing the effect of harvest time changes in both dry-mass production and essential oil accumulation were observed. The highest herb yield (1238.20 kg/hectare) was obtained in early fruit set, when about.50 per cent of fruits reached their full size in the inflorescence. The accumulation level of essential oil also reached its maximum at the sane development stage, showing 0.75 per cent value, which is about two fold higher comparing to the accumulation level was measured at the time of full flowering (0.41 %).

Evaluation of cauliflower genotypes by different growing method

Cauliflower is currently cultivated on 350-400 thousand hectares in the world and around 1500 ha in Hungary. Its cultivation requires considerable expertise as it is sensitive to environmental factors and adequate nutrient supply. The aim of our experiment was to compare three genotypes (Abeni, SV5777 AC and Telergy F1) by different growing method – under plastic tunnel and on open field. On open field the planting was on 19th of March, 2018, the row and plant distances were 45 and 35 cm. Under plastic tunnel the transplants were set out on the same day with the same genotypes as on open field, with 55x45 cm arrangement. The results have proved that cauliflower curds from plastic tunnel was two times bigger than on open field. The more protected environment had a positive effect not only on the mass of the curd, but also on the biomass production. Among the examined genotypes Abeni showed the highest yield (about 1 kg/plant) under plastic tunnel. The shape of the head is important for the market. According to our data, we measured the width and height of the curd. Open field conditions induced wider curd with longer stem and caused lower product quality and weaker correlation between the parameters than plastic tunnel.

Effects of different rootstocks on the morphologic parameters of watermelon grafts during transplant production

Before Hungary joined the EU watermelon production was a key sector of the Hungarian vegetable industry. Its production area shrank by nearly 60 % since 2004, it is only 5000 ha today. Stable and reliable market failed to evolve in the last years and extreme weather events occurred more frequently. An unfavourable growing season can notably affect the production volume of the next season. Information gathered in the last years support the assumption, that suitable stocks can help eliminate the issues caused by extreme weather or short-term crop rotation. Choosing the right grafted or non-grafted transplant is not enough any more, growers also have to select stock. In fruit and vine production choosing the stock, which is the most suitable for the technology is evident and this approach should be widely adapted by watermelon growers as well. In this research we investigated the growth parameters of different watermelon stocks and their effect on the scion during the transplant production. Measurements were carried out on seven different stock-scion combinations of the scion ’Topgun F1’ hybrid. Two of the stocks were interspecific (Cucurbita maxima × Cucurbita moschata) and five stocks were Lagenaria-type (Lagenaria siceraria) stocks. We made and recorded observations of the transplants’ length (cm), diameter of the stock and scion (mm), number of leaves (piece), root length (cm), root mass (g) and shoot mass (g). We concluded that early pricking out of transplants with interspecific stocks is successful due to their hardiness and vigorous growth. The effect of the ’Shintosa camelforce F1’ interspecific stock was outstanding. Furthermore, the results confirmed the practical observation that the root system of interspecific stocks grow vertically more allowing them to take up water and nutrients from lower soil layers in poor sandy soils. From the Lagenaria group the root system of the ’DG-01 F1’ was similar to the interspecific stocks’. It can be grown even in sandy soil, however other Lagenaria-type stocks are more suitable for production in hard soils with nutrient supply because of their compact root system. This study can serve as a basis for further research in the topic that can conduce to site- and technology-specific stock selection.