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Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura

versão impressa ISSN 0100-2945


MOLIN, José Paulo; COLACO, André Freitas; CARLOS, Eduardo Fermino  e  MATTOS JUNIOR, Dirceu de. Yield mapping, soil fertility and tree gaps in an orange orchard. Rev. Bras. Frutic. [online]. 2012, vol.34, n.4, pp.1256-1265. ISSN 0100-2945.

The current high competition on Citrus industry demands from growers new management technologies for superior efficiency and sustainability. In this context, precision agriculture (PA) has developed techniques based on yield mapping and management systems that recognize field spatial variability, which contribute to increase profitability of commercial crops. Because spatial variability is often not perceived the orange orchards are still managed as uniform and adoption of PA technology on citrus farms is low. Thus, the objective of the present study was to characterize the spatial variability of three factors: fruit yield, soil fertility and occurrence of plant gaps caused by either citrus blight or huanglongbing (HLB) in a commercial Valencia orchard in Brotas, São Paulo State, Brazil. Data from volume, geographic coordinates and representative area of the bags used on harvest were recorded to generate yield points that were then interpolated to produce the yield map. Soil chemical characteristics were studied by analyzing samples collected along planting rows and inter-rows in 24 points distributed in the field. A map of density of tree gaps was produced by georeferencing individual gaps and later by counting the number of gaps within 500 m² cells. Data were submitted to statistical and geostatistical analyses. A t test was used to compare means of soil chemical characteristics between sampling regions. High variation on yield and density of tree gaps was observed from the maps. It was also demonstrated overlapping regions of high density of plant absence and low fruit yield. Soil fertility varied depending on the sampling region in the orchard. The spatial variability found on yield, soil fertility and on disease occurrence demonstrated the importance to adopt site specific nutrient management and disease control as tools to guarantee efficiency of fruit production.

Palavras-chave : Precision agriculture; spatial variability; citrus blight; huanglongbing (HLB).

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