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Kernel production and n exports by fruits of some Spanish almond cultivars

Espada Carbó, J.L., Espiau Ramírez, M.T.
Acta horticulturae 2002 no.591 pp. 307-313
almonds, atmospheric precipitation, cultivars, emissions, endocarp, eutrophication, irrigation water, mesocarp, nitrate reduction, nitrogen, nitrogen content, seeds, sewage treatment, soil, water pollution
The increase in water pollution and eutrophication has triggered the regulation on sewage treatment as well as the reduction of nitrate emissions by agriculture. As a consequence, nitrogen application needs to be regulated according to the requirements of each crop and to the supplies from the soil, from the water for irrigation and the atmospheric precipitations. Nitrogen is an essential element absorbed in large amounts by the plants that can result in high yields. Almond is able to accumulate large amounts of nitrogen in the fruit, where N may reach 0.73% of the fresh weight. Among the fruit components, the kernels receive 61.08% of total N exports, the endocarp 14.31%, and the mesocarp 24.61%. The high yields obtained in irrigated almond orchards, even 1,500 kg of kernel/ha, represent more than 120 kg of nitrogen per hectare and year. Within the ensemble of cultivars studied, the most efficient cultivars are those with the highest kernel percentage (over the total fruit weight and not over the in-shell weight) and the lowest mesocarp percentage.