Integrated Fruit Production

Integrated fruit production (IFP) is defined as economical production of high quality fruit, giving priority to ecologically safer methods, minimizing the undesirable side effects and use of pesticides, to enhance the safeguards to the environment and human health (Cross and Dickler, 1994, p. 2). IFP systems emphasize long-term sustainability by minimizing the use of external inputs into the agroecosystem. There are many differences between conventional and IFP production systems. For example,...

Orchard Groundcover Advantages

Soil fertility provides the foundation for productivity in any crop system, and it is especially important in perennial crop systems where there are few options for supplementing nutrient availability in the deeper root zone, because direct placement of fertilizer into the rhizosphere is difficult and can damage roots. Furthermore, stringent soil, climate, and infrastructure requirements of orchards usually cause growers to replant the same or similar fruit crops repeatedly in the same...

Soil Chemical Analysis

Soil samples, collected from the field, are extracted with a solution of weak acid, salt, chelating agent, or a combination of these compounds to determine the amount of a given nutrient, or its constant portion thereof, that will be released by the soil for plant uptake during the entire growing season. Results of such tests are expressed in kilograms per hectare or pounds per acre and are assigned a nutrient availability designator, e.g., low, medium, high, or very high. Determining soil...

Modern Trends In Fruit Tree Nutrition

Modern nutrient management practices rely on fine-tuning the application of nutrients to satisfy specific needs of different tree organs at times most beneficial from the standpoint of tree productivity and fruit quality. An improved understanding of how tree nutrient reserves are built up and mobilized leads to fertilizer practices that optimize yield and fruit quality while minimizing excessive vegetative growth. The use of different rootstocks with various abilities to acquire nutrients from...

Fertilizer Application Practices

A fertilizer management program should start before an orchard is planted. At that time, fertilizers can be easily incorporated into the soil to the depth of 25 to 30 centimeters, i.e., the zone of high root activity. This is particularly important for P, K, Mg, and Ca fertilizers as well as Zn, Cu, Mn, and Fe, which move very slowly down the soil profile. When applied to the soil surface in mature orchards, these fertilizers will need a long time to reach the main part of the root system. In...