University of California

Nitrate concentration and ion balance in relation to citrus nutrition


H. D. Chapman
George F. Liebig

Authors Affiliations

H. D. Chapman was Associate Chemist in the Experiment Station; George F. Liebig, Jr. was Associate in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 13(4):141-173. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v13n04p141. June 1940.

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The most expensive item in the citrus grower’s fertilizer bill is nitrogen. With the types of fertilizer now in use and present cultural methods, it has been found necessary to apply between 150 and 250 pounds of nitrogen per acre annually in order to maintain commercial yields and tree vigor; indeed, many growers commonly apply considerably more. Calculations based on chemical analyses of the fruit and of tree parts, however, indicate that no more than 35 to 50 pounds of nitrogen per acre annually are utilized in the production of fruit and in the permanent new growth of the trees. This discrepancy between practical and calculated needs is probably accounted for, in part, by leaching and volatilization losses from the soil. It is possible, of course, that the nitrogen requirement of citrus trees as judged by analyses may be in error (23)5. In the belief that a better knowledge of the nitrogen nutrition of the citrus tree and of nitrogen gains, losses, and transformations in soils might make possible more effective nitrogen usage, studies relative to these questions were begun several years ago. This paper is concerned only with citrus nutritional studies.

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Chapman H, Liebig G. 1940. Nitrate concentration and ion balance in relation to citrus nutrition. Hilgardia 13(4):141-173. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v13n04p141

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