WUR maps out the consequences of fertilization shortage for hazelnuts

April 22, 2022

Hazelnut is cultivated on a large scale in various parts of the world. To further optimize cultivation, there is a need for more knowledge about fertilization. The Business Unit Greenhouse Horticulture and Flower Bulbs of Wageningen University & Research therefore investigated the effects of a shortage of nutrition, and how they can be recognized. With this knowledge, hazelnut growers in, for example, North America, Australia and Turkey can improve their production.

The trial started at the research location in Wageningen with one year old plants of one of the most important cultivars of the hazelnut. These were planted in an inert substrate. The plants were supplied with 100% or 50% of the standard dosage of one of the main elements (nitrogen, potassium, sulfur, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus).

The researchers described and photographed the deficiency symptoms. In addition, they measured and analysed the biomass of the crop; this shows what effect a deficiency of a nutrient has on growth and on the absorption of nutrients. With the findings, the client can provide hazelnut growers a better cultivation advice.

What was striking in the study was that calcium deficiency in the crop not only occurs at a low dose of calcium, but also with other treatments. This is because calcium deficiency has more to do with a poor distribution of calcium among the plant parts. This causes the same symptoms as with 'real' calcium deficiency, such as ’Tipburn’.

In the coming year, WUR will investigate the effects of a shortage or surplus of trace elements in hazelnut.