INTEGRATED PLANT NUTRITION ON THE RECOVERY OF A PEAR (PYRUS COMMUNIS 'PACKAM'S TRIUMPH') ORCHARD
The use of organic matter for recovering decayed orchards is getting increased attention in Chile, considering that chemical fertilization alone does not cause the expected effects. Integrated plant nutrition (IPN) is a concept in which organic matter, in combination with chemical fertilization, stimulate the rhizogenesis process and therefore improve plant nutrition. During the 2011/12 and 2012/13 growing seasons, an experiment was performed to evaluate the effects of IPN on the recovery of decayed pear trees (Pyrus communis Packams Triumph), in Peumo, Rapel Valley, Chile. Two treatments were compared in a factorial experiment, using a randomized design, with four replications. The IPN treatment consisted on the application of 20 ton/ha of compost, together with chemical fertilization NPK per season, respectively; control treatment included only the chemical fertilization at the same rates. Compost was produced from grape pomace and, on the average, had 20% C, a C/N ratio: 16:1; N-NO3/N-NH4=1,23 and a low content of trace elements, with the exemption of Cu which showed values above the Chilean standard limits (NCh 2880/04) for compost type A. Compost was applied once each season, in band, during winter time (July), while chemical fertilization was applied during the growing season from October to February. Evaluations included root density; total shoot growth; enzymatic activity in soil; Mineral leaf contents; Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and SPAD readings. Results showed significant differences (p<0.05) between treatments for: root density, pruning weight, enzymatic activity in soil, NDVI, SPAD readings, Na, Zn and Cu leaf contents and nutrient indices for N, K, Ca, Mg, Cu and Zn, which were larger for the IPN management. Integrated plant nutrition seems to be the way to recover decayed orchards through the inclusion of good quality organic matter within the management program.
Poblete, H., Martínez, M. and Ortega, R. (2015). INTEGRATED PLANT NUTRITION ON THE RECOVERY OF A PEAR (PYRUS COMMUNIS 'PACKAM'S TRIUMPH') ORCHARD. Acta Hortic. 1076, 179-186
pear orchard, decay, soil quality, compost, integrated plant nutrition