THE EFFECTS OF FERTIGATION ON SOIL, LEAF NUTRIENT CONTENT, TREE GROWTH, YIELD AND QUALITY OF FRUIT CROPS: A REVIEWTarika Sharma1 and Razia Sultana Shaik
Fertigation is the use of a combination of drip irrigation and fertilizer to create a controlled nutrient release system resulting in significantly lower leaching losses of nutrients while meeting the water and nutrient requirements of crops throughout their growing stage. Drip irrigation facilitates maximal water and nutrient efficiency by reducing the active root zone, and thus minimizing the wetting area. Adding fertilizer to drip irrigation reduces the costs associated with irrigation and fertilizer application. Additionally, fertigation minimizes the losses of nutrients through leaching. In this paper, different aspects of fertigation are reviewed, including its impact on soil and nutrient content in leaf, tree growth, yield as well as quality of fruits. The literature documented describes a wide range of research projects undertaken by a significant number of researchers in several different countries. It clearly demonstrates the advantages and benefits of fertigation over conventional soil fertilization in terms of comparable or better tree growth, yield of fruit and fruit quality, as well as in terms of achieving considerable savings in the amount of water and fertilizer used. The review has shown that in order to achieve maximum yields and quality produce with relatively less water and fertilizer usage, fertigation is highly effective, especially for apples, bananas, citrus fruit, prunes, mangoes, pomegranates, papayas, grape fruit, straw berries, grapes, peaches and plums.
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