Study on the Use of Biostimulants in High-density Olive Growing: Quality and Production

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Study on the Use of Biostimulants in High-density Olive Growing: Quality and Production

March 29, 2021 Agricultural Sciences 0

The nutritional requirements of the plants are higher per unit area as a result of the increase in high-density holdings, especially of olive trees, implying that a greater contribution of fertilisers to the soil is required. The use of inorganic fertilisers would result in a rise in soil contamination. There is a strong trend nowadays toward the use of environmentally sustainable cropping techniques, with a particular interest in organic fertilisation using products derived from algae and/or crop extracts, which have a high organic matter content and provide the required nutrients to the plant.

Faced with the possibility of soil pollution, our goal is to investigate the impact of biostimulants as an alternative to chemical fertilisers in order to consistently achieve and maintain high quality levels throughout the crop’s life cycle. Our goal is to use more environmentally friendly goods in order to meet one of the most significant customer and government demands.

We used five different treatments in this study, in addition to a control treatment with a supply of NPK from inorganic materials, to control fertilisation with a solution made from seaweed extracts. These treatments were applied to two of the most significant olive tree varieties in the current olive tree growing scenario: Arbequina and Koroneiki, over the course of two crop cycles.

The olive trees were planted in a high-density system with a planting structure of 4 x 1.5 m on the farm Pozohondo, which is situated in a crop zone by the Palancia river (Castellón, Valencia, Spain), in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula. Using a fertigation scheme, we were able to maintain complete control over the holding’s nutritional requirements.

We were able to detect variations in the productions of each applied procedure, avoiding any potential prejudices by using 100 randomly selected olives from each sample as a control. The treatment that offers amino acids and extra potassium dependent on amino acids improves the collection of physical characteristics of the olives. We measured the content of fatty acids, tocopherols, and polyphenols in the olive oil obtained from each procedure to assess its consistency. We have conducted an organoleptic taste study in accordance with the International Olive Committee’s guidelines (IOC).

When using the potassium and amino acid biostimulant, we saw an increase in the pomological parameters of the olives compared to the other treatments, while the consistency of the soils was unaffected by the form of fertilisation used in each procedure. We increased production by adding various extra biostimulant contributions, which can be said to substitute inorganic fertilisers, at least under our working conditions.

Author (s) Details

Gilberto Hernández-Hernandez
Department of Plant Production, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Institute for the Conservation and Improvement of Valencian Agrobiodiversity (COMAV), Spain.

Domingo M. Salazar
Department of Plant Production, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Institute for the Conservation and Improvement of Valencian Agrobiodiversity (COMAV), Spain.

Juan Martínez-Tomé
Department of Plant Production and Microbiology, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Spain.

Isabel López-Cortés
Department of Plant Production, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Institute for the Conservation and Improvement of Valencian Agrobiodiversity (COMAV), Spain.

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