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Sufficiency ranges and crop nutrient removals for peppermint (Mentha X piperita L.) established from field and pot fertilizer experiments
- Arrobas, Margarida, Ferreira, Isabel Q., Afonso, Sandra, Rodrigues, M. Ângelo
- Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2018 v.49 no.14 pp. 1719-1730
- Mentha piperita nothosubsp. piperita, aboveground biomass, boron, boron fertilizers, calcium, copper, crop yield, dry matter accumulation, farms, fertilizer application, field experimentation, food industry, harvest date, iron, magnesium, manganese, medicinal plants, nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers, phosphorus, plant analysis, potassium, zinc
- Peppermint is an important aromatic and medicinal plant used across the world in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. However, there is a lack of agronomic research on this crop which hinders the implementation of best agricultural practice at farm level. Plant analysis, for instance, cannot be used as a tool to implement a suitable fertilizer recommendation program, since sufficiency ranges and crop nutrient removals have not yet been established. Thus, the main objectives of the present work were to assess the response of peppermint to varying nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and boron (B) rates, to establish sufficiency ranges from macro, micronutrients and SPAD-readings and to estimate crop nutrient removals in the aboveground biomass. Field trials and pot experiments were conducted from 2013 to 2015 in a wide range of conditions involving 12 N, P, K or B fertilizer trials and a total of 48 cuts of biomass. Nitrogen fertilization increased dry matter yield of peppermint on the vast majority of sampling dates. In contrast, P, K, or B did not produce a significant effect on dry matter yield in any of the experiments. The sufficiency ranges set for macronutrients N, P, K, Ca and Mg are respectively 32.0 – 42.0, 1.2 – 4.5, 10.0 – 30.0, 7.0 – 23.0, and 4.0 – 10.0 g kg⁻¹. Those for micronutrients B, copper (Cu), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and manganese (Mn) are respectively 20 – 200, 5 – 25, 100 – 600, 25 – 300, and 30 – 200 mg kg⁻¹. Sufficiency range for SPAD-readings is 45 – 50 SPAD units. All these ranges were established for the commercial harvesting date. The amounts of N, P, K, calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) removed in aboveground biomass are respectively 22.7, 1.6, 26.4, 16.4 and 4.8 kg Mg⁻¹ of dry biomass.