Soil and Plant Analysis - A Strategic Tool to Diagnose Micronutrient Imbalance in Lime and Sapota Orchard in Tablelands of Chambal Ravine Region of India
Micronutrient imbalance in lime and sapota fruit crops result in unstable fruit yield, fruit shedding and degrade quality of the produce. A study was therefore conducted to evaluate micronutrient statusoflime and sapota orchard by analysing soil and plant samples. Soil samples were collected from surface (0-15cm) and sub-surface (15-30cm) depth representing whole orchard. At the same time, plant samples including 35-40 each for leaves and petiole samples each from lime and sapota field was also collected. Available micronutrients from soil samples were extracted using diethylenetriaminepenta acetic acid (DTPA) and it was in the order of manganese (Mn)> iron (Fe)> zinc (Zn)> copper (Cu) in both lime and sapota plantations. DTPA- extractable Zn and Cu showed low status, marginal status of Fe and sufficient level of Mn in soils of sapota plantations. In plant analysis, high concentration of Cu (869 mg kg-1) and Zn (411mg kg-1) was observed in lime leaves; however, in sapota crop Cu and Zn content was 8.25mg kg-1 and 16.7mg kg- 1 respectively. Similarly, Fe and Mn content of lime leaves was 197 and 43 mg kg-1 which was slightly higher than sapota leaves that recorded 128 and 49mg kg-1 of Fe and Zn respectively. In sapota plants, higher Mn and Cu concentration in leaf resulted in Zn deficiency symptoms such as shortened internodes or rosette disorders of sapota plants. Thus, correcting micronutrient deficiency is pre-requisite for qualitative and quantitative fruit production in tablelands of India.
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