Scientific posters

At the CFPN, we conduct research projects on various essential issues, carrying out field tests, efficacy screening and validation of various technologies and products. We have presented the key points from some of this research in these condensed and easy to digest posters.

Soil remediating measures for improving growth and production in an olive orchard grown in highly sodic soils

The increasing world population leads to a decrease in freshwater available for agriculture. Replacing freshwater by reclaimed wastewater for irrigation of cultivated lands, is a possible solution. Reclaimed wastewater is of higher salinity and sodicity than freshwater, thus making it low-quality water. Long-term irrigation with such water may turn the soil sodic, the consequences of which are deterioration of soil structure and related hydraulic properties. This could become a major problem in orchards, where the small volume of soil is exposed to the irrigation water and may ultimately harm orchard’s production. Therefore, use of soil amendments in orchards to mitigate soil sodicity should be considered. Poster presented at the IX International Symposium on Mineral Nutrition of Fruit Crops 2021.

Dissolution rate of selected sulfur fertilizers; understanding selenate – sulfate competition

Nottingham University Polysulphate dissolution rate experiment

A relatively unknown aspect of Se biofortification of crops is the extent to which sulfur fertilizer application may suppress selenate uptake by plants. This is caused by competition between sulfate (SO42-) and selenate (HSeO4, SeO42-) anions for adsorption sites on roots. Selenate added to soil undergoes fixation into unavailable organic forms so plant uptake probably occurs during a ‘window of opportunity’ shortly after application. The current project aims to assess the use of slower-release sulfate fertilizers in minimizing suppression of Se uptake during this critical period while still providing sulfur nutrition during the growing season. This poster presents a study of the release characteristics of one such S-compound, polyhalite (Ca2K2Mg(SO4)4•2H2O), commercially Polysulphate®, compared to some other sulfur fertilizers.

Polyhalite (Polysulphate®) – A potential slow-release fertilizer for plant nutrition with potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulfur

The potential of polyhalite, a natural mineral consisting of K2O, SO4-2, MgO, and CaO at 14%, 48%, 6%, and 17%, respectively, to become a slow-release multi-nutrient fertilizer was the focus of this poster presented at the IX International Symposium on Mineral Nutrition of Fruit Crops 2021. Fertilizer solubility, and hence the potential long-term availability of its various constituent minerals, was investigated in both a laboratory test and a field experiment.

Optimizing fertilizer management for improved pomegranate productivity and quality

Optimizing fertilizer management for improved pomegranate productivity and quality

Pomegranate has been grown as an orchard crop for thousands of years and has a long history in the mythology of many cultures. Pomegranate juice currently is receiving commercial popularity because of its human health benefits. Pomegranate fruit has been found to contain bioactive components and to be a potent anti-cancer agent. The increased demand for pomegranate drove efforts to increase commercial orchard fruit yield. However, previous studies focused more on variety selection or post-harvest, and there has been little research concerning improvement of fruit yield and quality by optimal fertilization management. The aim of the current study, summarized in this poster presented at the 13th Dahlia Greidinger International Symposium (2019), was to evaluate the response of pomegranate yield and fruit/juice quality to different application levels of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).

Interaction between water surface tension and contact angle in hydrophobic soils and its impact on water flow

Water repellency (Hydrophobicity) in agricultural soils can damage their hydraulic properties, increase the rate of run-off and erosion, and reduce crop yields. The soils tend to become hydrophobic as a result of coating the soil grains with organic materials from irrigation with reclaimed water and the addition of organic residues. This poster – presented at the annual meeting of the Israeli soil science society (2018), Sde-Boker, Israel – presents the results of the study examining the effect of lowering surface tension and contact angle by adding commercial surfactant (H2FLO) on water infiltration and flow processes in hydrophobic soils.

Factors affecting the wetting process in hydrophobic soil with surfactant addition

Poset presented at the annual meeting of the Israeli Soil Science Society (2017), Rehovot, Israel. Cultivated soils are rich in organic matter. Consequently, they are becoming hydrophobic having a negative impact on water infiltration, nutrient and contaminant transport, soil erosion, agricultural water management and more. This poster presents the results of a study to examine the hypothesis that adding the surfactant (H2Flo) to irrigation water will help to minimize hydrophobicity of sandy soils rich in organic matter.

Site specific nitrogen management in citrus orchard to minimize nitrogen pollution

Permanent crops agriculture covers 1.2 % of the global land area. In order to be commercially viable, such agricultural land requires the addition of essential nutrients to the soil. Nitrogen is often regarded as the most critical nutrient, and the soil-related growth limiting factor. Precision agriculture aims to optimize the management of cultivated fields by addressing the spatial variability found in crops and their environment with Site Site-Specific Management (SSM). This poster, presented at the 13th Dahlia Greidinger International Symposium held on 4-6 March 2019 at the Technion Water Institute, Israel, highlights research to develop SSM for tree based optimal nitrogen (N) application in citrus orchards.

Studying the effect of plant nutrition on the nutritional value of teff grown in Israel

Presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Israeli Chemical Society 12-13 February 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel, this poster (Studying the effect of plant nutrition on the nutritional value of teff grown in Israel) summarizes research to study the effect of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) nutrition on the nutritional value of red and white varieties of teff. The research indicates that the plant nutrition regime greatly affects the teff grain nutritional composition.

Sodic soils reclamation with Polyhalite

Poster presented at the 2018 ‘Soils and Fertilisers: Management to improve nutrient use efficiency’ IFS Agronomic Conference, Cambridge, UK, (December 2018). The poster summarizes research into the use of polyhalite as a soil amendment to reclaim sodic soils, and improve their hydraulic properties and root zone wetting. Laboratory and field experiments were done to better understand the efficiency of the polyhalite in soil ESP reduction and improving its hydrological properties. In addition, polyhalite was applied in a suspension through the drip irrigation system, which enabled precise and efficient supply of the substance directly to the root zone.

Selenium uptake in ryegrass with applied sulfur fertilizers

Poster presented at the 2018 ‘Soils and Fertilisers: Management to improve nutrient use efficiency’ IFS Agronomic Conference, Cambridge, UK, (December 2018). There is a growing need for sulfur fertilizer applications following progressive reduction in coal burning which previously resulted in sufficient sulfur deposition. There is also an increased awareness of the health benefits of biofortification of staple crops with selenium. However sulfate and selenate compete for uptake via plant roots as they share the same root transporter. This research aimed to understand and test a range of options to minimize this antagonistic reaction, including comparison of the effects of tradition and slow-release sulfur fertilizers on Se uptake in a pot trial using stable isotope spikes of selenium.

Polyhalite solubility and transport in acid soils and mineral uptake by plants as a source of calcium

Calcium is an important macro element for plants. This poster presented at the Global Agronomists Meeting in Ashkelon, Israel (18-20 February 2019) summarizes research exploring the potential of polyhalite fertilizer, a four in one fertilizer providing sulfur, potassium, magnesium and calcium in a single application, as a source of calcium in vegetable production.

Carbohydrates as a nitrogen use efficiency indicator in cassava

Carbohydrates as a nitrogen use efficiency indicator in cassava

With the increasing cost of fertilizers and rising environmental concerns, the effectiveness of nutrient application needs to be studied thoroughly for every crop, condition, and farming practice. This poster by John O. Omondi on the CFPN Cassava research project was presented at the “World Cassava Conference”, 11-15th June, in Cotonou (Benin, Africa). It summarizes research to establish the response of cassava to Nitrogen, and to determine a physiological indicator to its effectivity on yields under fertigation.

Introducing the CFPN

This poster introduces the Center for Fertilization and Plant Nutrition (CFPN), a new research center for expanding fertilizer and plant nutrition knowledge. The Center was established in 2015 under a cooperation agreement between the Israeli Agricultural Research Organization (ARO; Volcani Center) and Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL).

Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilization of almonds

Almond cultivation is a key horticultural product worldwide with promising prospects in the growing Israeli market. Yet intensive fertilization know-how is missing and current nutrient application lacks scientific foundations that would enable educated modifications of various varieties to new locations and climates. the poster highlights the effects of macro-nutrients (N, P, and K) on almond trees in a controlled experimental setup with a working hypothesis that improved nutrient application during the growing season (summer) would maximize carbohydrate recharge and secure almond vegetative and reproductive growth in spring.

Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium application contributed to the growth and yield of teff production

Teff [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter] is an annual small grain, panicle bearing C4 cereal crop native to Ethiopia. Substantial research has been conducted under rainfed conditions in Ethiopia reporting that nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are key limiting nutrients in teff production, however the response of teff to N, P and potassium (K) fertilization under irrigation is not well studied. This study examines the effect of N, P and K nutrition on two teff genotypes’ growth and development under irrigation, and aims to determine the optimum level of N, P and K concentrations for production of two teff genotypes under field condition.

Pomegranate fertilization with potassium and phosphorus

Pomegranate has been grown as an orchard crop for thousands of years. In the last two decades, consumers have become increasingly aware of this fruit’s health properties; consequently, a rapid increase in demand has led to a sharp increase in intensive orchard area. Rapid expansion of this crop’s volume has created several fundamental knowledge gaps in its management, one of the most severe being its fertilization requirements. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the response (growth, yield and fruit quality) of pomegranate to different level of N, P and K.