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Application of the Nmin nitrogen fertilizer recommendation system in artichoke in the Valencian Community

Khayyo, S., Pérez-Lotz, J., Ramos, C.
Acta horticulturae 2004 no.660 pp. 261-266
artichokes, climate, farmers, fertilizer rates, groundwater contamination, irrigation water, leaching, nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers, planting date, rain, soil, soil minerals, vegetable crops
Artichoke is the second vegetable crop by surface area in the Valencian Community and is one of the major crops that may lead to contamination of groundwater due to nitrate leaching. The objective of the current study was the evaluation of the Nmin nitrogen fertilizer recommendation system under the conditions of soil, climate and cultural practices of the Valencian Community region. The study was carried out in three farmers' fields (A, B and C) in two areas near Valencia city. Three fertilizer rates were applied to obtain three levels of available soil mineral nitrogen, the latter being defined as the amount of soil mineral nitrogen (Nmin) present in soil at planting time, to the depth of 60 cm, plus the N addition by fertilizer, irrigation water and rainfall. The intended treatments were: N(2), where available Nmin = 280 kg N ha(-1); N(1) = 182 (35% less than 280 kg N ha(-1)); N(3) = 378 (35% more than 280 kg N ha(-1)). The available Nmin values obtained were somewhat different from the intended values mainly due to the high Nmin in soil at planting time in the experimental plots. Total yield varied between the different fields but was not significantly affected by available Nmin in any field. In fields A and B there was no significant increase in total yield for available Nmin values higher than 234 and 267 kg N ha(-1), respectively. In field C, yield did not increase significantly for available Nmin values higher than 239 kg N ha(-1). These results suggest that under the given experimental conditions, the available Nmin required by artichoke is equal to or less than around 270 kg N ha(-1). In fields A and C, higher levels of available N(min) resulted in higher values in soil Nmin at harvest in the 0-60 cm soil layer, but no effect was observed in field B.