Experimental trials on nectarine fields

02.06.2014 By: Seipasa and Transfer LBC

During this month of May, nectarines from the experimental plots have been harvested. These trials, which started at the end of last year, have consisted in the application of a series of new phytosanitary treatments and fertilizers on nectarines, with the aim of applying a methodology for the production of stone fruit with zero residues.

We proceeded to apply recommended farming techniques to achieve more sustainable production process during crop development. These works, framed within an integrated crop management program, included works of pruning, thinning, irrigation, fertilization and protection according to most sustainable practices.

Fertilization was carried out with organic products following a fertilization plan previously established that took account soil analysis, composition of irrigation water, soil type and yields. In addition, periodic analysis of plant materials were performed in order to know the response of the plant to the fertilization plan and, if necessary, correct the imbalances caused.

In order to get a residue- free crop that also meets the quality standards required by the most demanding markets, we proceeded to the implementation of a plant protection program that took into account the population levels of pests by monitoring the phenological crop state and weather conditions. Priority was given to the introduction of alternative products to control pests and diseases that were applied when population levels exceeded thresholds.
Thus, a quality yield that met the objectives of the Zero Residues program was finally obtained. The residue levels found in analyzes that were performed in the fruit had levels <0.01, as established by the ZR program of this project.

After this first campaign, the objectives for the coming years are to obtain greater knowledge on integrated crop protection strategies that allow us to establish programs of zero residues production. For that purpose, we will continue with the introduction of the use of biological products to control pests and diseases in addition to designing organic fertilization programs that match the most suitable crop demands and timings.

The trials were conducted in a cultivated area of 3,000m2 with a drip irrigation system, and were also useful to detect recurring problems and crop diseases. These experimental plots are a very important part of the action B1 of the project "Application of the Zero Residues methodology in stone fruit." Our partner Seipasa is in charge of conducting these experimental trials.