EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT SOIL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON PRODUCTION, QUALITY AND SOIL PHYSICO-CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF AN OLIVE GROVE IN SOUTHERN ITALY

A. Corleto, E. Cazzato
In a 5 year trial (1999-2003) performed in Southern Italy on an olive grove, eight different soil management practices were compared to study their effects on production and qualitative characteristics of the olive grove and on some soil physico-chemical properties. The eight treatments were the following: 1. soil tillage, 2. chemical weed control, 3. weed cover, 4. Trifolium brachycalycinum, 5. T. subterraneum, 6. Medicago polymorpha, 7. T. repens, and 8. Festuca arundinacea. A randomized complete block design (RCBD) with 3 reps and plot size of 576 m2 containing 16 olive plants was established. The principal parameters studied were: 1. Production of Olives per Plant (POP), 2. Drupe Oil Content (DOC), 3. Drupe Mean Weight (DMW), 4. Nitrogen Content in Leaves (NCL), 5. Soil Water Content (SWC), 6. Organic Matter Content (OMC), 7. Total Nitrogen Content (TNC) and 8. N-NO3 Content (N-NO3C). The results reported refer to a 5 year mean period for POP and DOC while DMW, OMC and TNC were determined for 3 years. NCL and SWC were measured one year in summer. POP varied from 14.2 kg plant-1 with green cover formed by T. brachycalycinum to 7.5 kg plant-1 when perennial species (T. repens or F. arundinacea) were used for ground cover. DOC showed the highest values (ranging from 19.8% to 19.0%) with a legume cover crop, soil tillage and chemical weed control; a depressing effect (from 17.0 to 17.7%) was observed with perennial species or weed cover. DMW was positively influenced by T. brachycalycinum (281.4 g/100 drupes); the lowest value was found with F. arundinacea (152 g/100 drupes). NCL showed the highest value (1.54%) with chemical weed control and the lowest value (1.40%) with perennial species. SWC was always lower than the soil water wilting point (13.3%); at 0-20 cm depth, higher values were found with soil tillage (9.7%). F. arundinacea and weed cover showed the lowest values (6.3% as a mean). OMC, TNC and N-NO3 showed significant variation in relation to sampling time and depth of soil collection but not soil management treatment. T. brachycalycinum along with soil tillage were the treatments that furnished the best results in terms of production and quality of olives. Physico-chemical characteristics did not show substantial variation amongst the treatments.
Corleto, A. and Cazzato, E. (2008). EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT SOIL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON PRODUCTION, QUALITY AND SOIL PHYSICO-CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF AN OLIVE GROVE IN SOUTHERN ITALY. Acta Hortic. 767, 319-328
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.767.33
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.767.33
soil management practices, olive drupe production and quality, soil water content, organic matter content, total nitrogen content
English

Acta Horticulturae