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Open AccessArticle

Recovery of 15N Labeled Nitrogen Fertilizer by Fertigated and Drip Irrigated Greenhouse Vegetable Crops

1
Tecnova Technology Centre, Science and Technology Park of Almeria (PITA), Av. Innovation, 23, El Alquián, 04131 Almeria, Spain
2
Department of Agronomy, University of Almeria, La Cañada, 04120 Almeria, Spain
3
Research Station of Cajamar, El Ejido, 04710 Almeria, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(5), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10050741
Received: 30 April 2020 / Accepted: 14 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Fertilization in Vegetable Crops)
The stable isotope 15N was used to assess the recovery of mineral N fertilizer applied to fertigated and drip-irrigated spring muskmelon and autumn-winter sweet pepper crops grown in greenhouse soil plots. They received 92–96% of mineral N fertilizer as NO3. 15N-labeled Ca (NO3)2 fertilizer was applied to crops during vegetative growth and fruit production phases. Crops were grown with either conventional management or combined improved N and irrigation management. Improved management for both irrigation and N was based on the combined use of models, to estimate crop requirements, and of monitoring of soil parameters. In sweet pepper, from conventional management, 15N recoveries from the 15N applications made during vegetative growth and fruit production were 66% and 58%, respectively. With improved management in sweet pepper, the corresponding 15N recoveries were 82% and 77%. In muskmelon, 15N recoveries from conventional management from the 15N applications made during vegetative growth and fruit production were 71% and 42%, respectively. With improved management, the corresponding 15N recoveries were 68% and 44%, respectively. The results demonstrated that combined drip irrigation and fertigation systems with frequent irrigation and N fertilizer application can have very high recovery of applied N fertilizer, of 77–82%. View Full-Text
Keywords: muskmelon; melon; pepper; greenhouse; irrigation; nitrogen management; soil muskmelon; melon; pepper; greenhouse; irrigation; nitrogen management; soil
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Martínez-Gaitán, C.; Granados, M.R.; Fernández, M.D.; Gallardo, M.; Thompson, R.B. Recovery of 15N Labeled Nitrogen Fertilizer by Fertigated and Drip Irrigated Greenhouse Vegetable Crops. Agronomy 2020, 10, 741.

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