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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Department of Plant Sciences

UC Davis

Comparison of animal Manures and Chemical Fertilizers on Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) cultivation


Application of cow manure (mixture of bedding straw+manure = Mn) plus P+N fertilizers increased spice yield (stigma dry weight) of saffron (Crocus sativus L). Besides, Mn increased soil organic carbon (OC) level, concentrations of soil K, Mg, Ca, and N-NH4+, and soil CEC. On the other hand, saffron plant was treated with N as (urea) (CO(NH2)2, 46% N) at 50 kg ha-1; P as super phosphate (Ca(H2PO4)2, 46% P2O5) at 40 kg ha-1 alone or combination with cow deep litter manure (20 t ha-1). The highest yield (0.45 g m-2) was obtained with combination of Mn, P and N, while, the lowest (0.24 g m-2) with control. The maximum flower fresh weight (0.99 g), with the longest stigma (30 mm) were obtained in the N+P+Mn treatment, and the lowest (0.50 g) with control, respectively. The N only application increased vegetative growth (highest leaf area index = LAI), but no significant on yield. The highest LAI (2.8) was recorded in the N-only treatment, but the lowest (1.3) in the control, respectively. The highest corm multiplications rate (5.7 new corms yr-1) and the lowest (2.5 new corms yr-1) were recorded in the Mn treatment and the control, respectively. Leaf mineral concentrations (%DW) increased by applications of N+P+Mn, but there was no significant (P = 0.05) difference in some mineral leaf concentrations.

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