Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fertilizer Requirements for Young, Bearing Microsprinkler-Irrigated Citrus, 2005 Report
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JournalCitrus Research Report
AbstractHigher nutrient and water use efficiency are possible with microsprinkler-irrigated citrus compared to flood-irrigated citrus. Therefore, new N and P fertilizer recommendations are needed for microsprinkler-irrigated citrus. The objectives of these experiments were to i) determine the effects of N applications on tree growth, fruit yield, fruit and juice quality, and N and P removal in fruit for microsprinkler-irrigated navel oranges; ii) determine the effects of P applications on tree growth, fruit yield, fruit and juice quality, and N and P removal in fruit, and iii) develop Best Management Practices for N and P fertigation of microsprinkler-irrigated citrus. Field experiments were conducted at the University of Arizona Citrus Agricultural Center in separate blocks of 'Newhall' and 'Fukumoto' navel oranges, both on 'Carrizo' rootstock. In each block, ten treatments, consisting of all possible combinations of 5 N rates (0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, and 0.8 lb N/tree/yr) and 2 P rates (0, 0.2 lb P/tree/year) were applied to five replicate trees per treatment. Maximum yields of the ‘Newhall' trees were 132 lb fruit/tree at a N rate of 0.5 lb N/tree/yr. Maximum yield of the 'Fukumoto' trees was119 lb fruit/tree at 0.5 lb N/tree/yr. Both varieties maintained appropriate leaf N and P concentrations at the yield-maximizing N rates. Total N in the fruit accounted for about 60 % of the N applied at the yield-maximizing N rates in both varieties. The results confirmed that microsprinklers effectively reduced the amounts of N fertilizer needed while maintaining adequate N status in the trees, with excellent N use efficiency.