Yield gaps and nutrients use efficiency of apple tree (golden delicious/MM106) in the middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco

Rachid Razouk • Abdellah Kajji • Khalid Daoui • Jamal Charafi • Mohamed Alghoum

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Abstract

The main objective of this work was to evaluate use efficiency of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium in adult apple orchards in the Middle Atlas of Morocco and to establish preliminary reference norms for fertilizing this crop under local conditions. The study was based on soil and leaf analysis and data with regard to farming practices and yield on forty apple orchards (cv. Golden delecious/MM106) where nineteen are growing on silty-clay soil and twenty-one on sandy-loam soil. The results showed significant correlations between leaf content for each nutrient and yield level following polynomial equations, thereby indicating local reference norms for apple leaf analysis. Moreover, correlations were significant between leaf and soil contents that permitted to determine apple needs in nitrogen fertilizer and references norms for soil richness in phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium to obtain yield potential in the study region. However, the found norms are less than International standards because of feebleness of yield level in the study region, largely related to deficient cultural practices adopted by farmers. In addition, investigation of leaf nutrients ratios N/K, N/Ca, K/Ca, K/Mg and Ca/Mg showed that there was disharmony in uptake of these nutrients originating particularly from high soil richness in Ca and Mg. Taking into account these considerations, the found references norms can be applied only under the adopted farming practices. Nevertheless, by improving local practices, reference values may change.

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Journal

International Journal of Environment, Agriculture and Biotechnology

The International Journal of Environment, Agriculture and Biotechnology (IJEAB) is an internation... see more