It belongs to the Rosaceae family and comes from Southeast Asia. It is one of the most widespread and cultivated fruit trees in the world, due to its nutritional value, easy adaptation to different climates and the quality of the products obtained in the processing industry: juice, cider, unfermented musts, brandies, jams, sweets and jellies.
The world’s largest apple production is in China, the United States, France, Italy and Turkey.
The apple adapts to a wide variety of climates, the best conditions being warm days, cold nights and high radiation. It requires about 1000 chilling units and about 150 frost-free days. The limiting factor for the cultivation of apple trees in southern areas is the lack of cold. It is frost resistant but its fruit is damaged when temperatures fall below -3ºC. As it flowers later than other deciduous crops, the risk of freezing is lower.
It is less demanding than the pear tree as it adapts to a wide variety of soils, the ideal being well-drained, medium soils with a pH of around 6. It is relatively tolerant of chalky soils and the wide range of rootstocks makes it suitable for planting in many soils.
The planting frame varies depending on the variety, the most common being for traditional varieties: 5 x 6 m or 6 x 7 m and in small modern varieties, the planting frame is usually 2.5 x 4.0 m: 1,000 – 2,300 trees per hectare.
There are several methods for estimating water demand:
Soil water status, sap flow and growth rate are often measured to determine the water requirements of the crop. Lack of water during fruiting leads to a decrease in fruit size, while a deficit in the setting stage causes fruit to drop.
For small tree crops, drip irrigation is used with one or two laterals per row and a dripper spacing of 0.6 m. In larger tree crops, where the spacing between trees is greater, sprinklers or mini-sprinklers can also be used. Watering should be abundant as soon as the tree starts growing and sprinklers are often used as a means of preventing frost.
Emitter pipe selection: A wide range of products to ensure the right choice of emitter pipe. The combination of emitter model, unit flow rate and spacing between them not only guarantees the supply of the planned allocations in the irrigation strategy, but also ensures a large volume of moist soil available for root development in both localised surface irrigation and RGS.
Digital Farming: Together with the appropriate selection of the emitter pipe, the use of AZUD QGROW equipment for the precise management of water and nutrient inputs, with the information coming from soil, plant and climate sensors allows:
Good root system development in the early stages of the crop and proper irrigation practice after crop production begins.
Irrigation management aimed at avoiding high soil moisture contents and high EC values to which citrus is highly sensitive.
Guaranteeing the water and nutrient inputs that, under the existing soil and climatic conditions, will enable the planned production objective to be achieved, allowing high yields with the highest quality standards (fruit size and sugar content).
Performing specific irrigation practices autonomously conditioned by the type of irrigation: localised surface irrigation or SDI.