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Article

Optimizing Nitrogen Application for Growth and Productivity of Pomegranates

1
Gilat Research Center, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Gilat, M.P. Negev 8528000, Israel
2
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
3
Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 7610001, Israel
4
Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization, Newe Ya’ar Research Center, Ramat Yishay 30095, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equal contribution.
Agronomy 2020, 10(3), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10030366
Received: 9 February 2020 / Revised: 4 March 2020 / Accepted: 4 March 2020 / Published: 6 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Horticultural and Floricultural Crops)
Quantification of actual plant consumption of nitrogen (N) is necessary to optimize fertilization efficiency and minimize contamination of earth resources. We examined the performance of fruit-bearing pomegranate trees grown in soilless media and exposed to eight N-fertigation treatments, from 5 to 200 mg N L−1. Reproductive and vegetative indices were found to be optimal when 20 to 70 mg N L−1 was supplied. Nitrogen application levels over 70 mg L−1 reduced pomegranate development and reproduction. N uptake in low-level treatments was almost 100% and decreased gradually, down to 13% in 200 mg N L−1 treatment. N usage efficiency was maximized under 20 mg N L−1, in which case 80% to 90% of added N was taken up by the trees. At high N application, its efficiency was reduced with less than 50% utilized by the trees. Leaf N increased to a plateau as a function of increasing irrigation solution N, maximizing at ~15 to 20 mg N g−1. Therefore, analysis of diagnostic leaves is not a valid method to identify excessive detrimental N. The results should be valuable in the development of efficient, sustainable, environmentally responsible protocols for N fertilization in commercial pomegranate orchards, following adaptation and validation to real soil field conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: fertigation; NUE; uptake; yield; vegetative indices; reproductive indices fertigation; NUE; uptake; yield; vegetative indices; reproductive indices
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lazare, S.; Lyu, Y.; Yermiyahu, U.; Heler, Y.; Ben-Gal, A.; Holland, D.; Dag, A. Optimizing Nitrogen Application for Growth and Productivity of Pomegranates. Agronomy 2020, 10, 366. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10030366

AMA Style

Lazare S, Lyu Y, Yermiyahu U, Heler Y, Ben-Gal A, Holland D, Dag A. Optimizing Nitrogen Application for Growth and Productivity of Pomegranates. Agronomy. 2020; 10(3):366. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10030366

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lazare, Silit, Yang Lyu, Uri Yermiyahu, Yehuda Heler, Alon Ben-Gal, Doron Holland, and Arnon Dag. 2020. "Optimizing Nitrogen Application for Growth and Productivity of Pomegranates" Agronomy 10, no. 3: 366. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10030366

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