Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Strategies for improved management of fresh market spinach

Date:
September 16, 2013
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
To provide California's spinach growers with new management strategies for nitrogen fertilizer and irrigation practices, researchers performed experiments in the Salinas and San Juan Valleys of California. They determined that, to mitigate environmentally negative nitrogen losses, the nitrogen use efficiency can be increased by the use of soil testing at two critical points: at-planting and before the first midseason fertilizer application.

Fresh spinach is a high-production, high-value crop.
Credit: teleginatania / Fotolia

Throughout California's fertile central coast region, fresh spinach is a high-production, high-value crop. Spinach can be finicky, requiring sufficient nitrogen fertilizer and irrigation to ensure ideal growth, and to meet industry quality standards such as its defining deep green color. These production practices--combined with a shallow root system and the crop's intensive production cycle--can increase the potential of detrimental nitrate leaching. Recent water quality monitoring in the region has found widespread incidents of NO3 levels that exceed the Federal Drinking Water standard. As a result, growers have come under increasing pressure to improve crop nutrient use efficiency (NUE), and thereby minimize NO3 losses from production fields. In an effort to inform future spinach production practices, scientists Aaron Heinrich, Richard Smith, and Michael Cahn evaluated spinach nutrient uptake and water use in the Salinas and San Juan Valleys of California.

The team explained that spinach producers can improve nitrogen use efficiency by applying fertilizer at the optimal time and rate to match crop nitrogen uptake, but that data needed to make these critical fertilizer decisions was not available prior to their study. "No studies had evaluated high-density planting of clipped or bunched spinach grown on 80-inch beds," said lead author Aaron Heinrich. "Our study was specifically designed to provide data on the nitrogen uptake characteristics of spinach and to evaluate ways to improve nitrogen fertilizer management."

Heinrich, Smith, and Cahn evaluated grower fertilizer programs, and measured spinach nitrogen uptake over an entire production season with a range of soil conditions, climatic conditions, and cropping histories. They also conducted four replicated fertilizer trials of first- and second-cropped fields.

"Over the growing season, NO3 levels in the soil can build up due to a combination of unused fertilizer and mineralization of crop residue and soil organic matter," the team reported "Our evaluations showed that soil NO3 testing can be used to improve the nutrient use efficiency of spinach. We found that soil testing would be most effective in spinach production at two critical points: at-planting, and before the midseason fertilizer application when nitrogen use by spinach greatly increases." The comprehensive report, including additional implications for nitrogen fertilizer management of fresh market spinach, can be found in the June 2013 issue of HortTechnology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aaron Heinrich, Richard Smith, And Michael Cahn. Nutrient and Water Use of Fresh Market Spinach. HortTechnology, June 2013

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Strategies for improved management of fresh market spinach." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916103650.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2013, September 16). Strategies for improved management of fresh market spinach. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916103650.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Strategies for improved management of fresh market spinach." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916103650.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins