|Department of Soil Science, College of Horticulture and Forestry,
Y. S. P. University of Horticulture and Forestry, Hamirpur - 177 001, Himachal Pradesh, India
1 Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Shimla at Rohroo, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
|The study has been conducted in one of the major apple producing district of Himachal Pradesh to assess the key soil characteristics influencing apple productivity and nutritional imbalances in the soil, if any, so as to use such information as a tool in formulating nutrient management plan and optimizing nutrient use for enhancing quality and productivity of apple in the western Himalayan region. The important soil characteristics indicated that soils are slightly acidic to neutral in soil reaction with high to very high per cent soil organic carbon and have normal EC values suitable for apple crop in the study area. The available N, P, K, Ca, Mg varied from 420-672, 16-188, 177-827, 570-2090, 395-1400 kg ha-1 respectively, whereas micro nutrients Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B and Mo ranged from 2.8- 53.3, 12-35, 1.0-4.3, 0.9-2.7, 0.40-1.7 and 0.14-0.4 ppm, respectively. Plant available macro and micro nutrient (except B and Fe) were found sufficient in most of the orchards. About 28 and 11% apple orchard soils were found deficient in B and Fe content. Multiple regression analysis indicated 87.7, 98.4 and 88.5 per cent variation in yield at Nichar, Kalpa and Pooh block, respectively, was due to variations in different soil properties. Investigations clearly emphasized that soil characteristics like soil pH, EC, organic carbon, plant available micro nutrients (B, Mo, Cu and Zn) significantly affected yield of apple in the region.