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Precision nitrogen fertigation and irrigation management for improved apple quality

Citation

Swarts, ND and Hardie, M and Close, DC, Precision nitrogen fertigation and irrigation management for improved apple quality, Acta Horticulturae, 1130 pp. 485-489. ISSN 0567-7572 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 ISHS

DOI: doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1130.73

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) management is a balance to meet tree demands for current seasons’ crop as well as for internal storage for the subsequent season whilst reducing N loss via runoff and deep drainage. Whilst fertigation is commonly practised by apple growers in Australia, research into tree nutrient requirements and therefore fertigation management strategies are limited. In the Huon valley of southern Tasmania, we applied N (Ca(NO3)2) treatments pre- and post-harvest combined with high (4 L/hr), medium (2.3 L/hr) and low (1.6 L/hr) irrigation treatments to 10 year-old ‘Galaxy’ trees grafted on M26 rootstocks. We measured yield, fruit quality attributes and fruit N content. Data from the second season revealed fruit in the low irrigation treatments were significantly smaller (152 g) but firmer, with higher total soluble solids (11.80 Brix). Irrigation treatment had no effect on fruit colour, however fruit background colour decreased significantly with increased current season N application. Fruit N content was not significantly influenced by N application. This study demonstrates the strong linkage between N and irrigation management on the above ground components of orchard production and urges caution for growers implementing pre-harvest fertigation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fruit size, colour, firmness, total soluble solids, ‘Galaxy’, Tasmania
Research Division:Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Research Group:Horticultural Production
Research Field:Horticultural Crop Growth and Development
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Horticultural Crops
Objective Field:Pome Fruit, Pip Fruit
Author:Swarts, ND (Dr Nigel Swarts)
Author:Hardie, M (Mr Marcus Hardie)
Author:Close, DC (Associate Professor Dugald Close)
ID Code:102167
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2015-08-03
Last Modified:2017-04-26
Downloads:0

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