Pomegranate Best Management Practices - DOC - DOC

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					                          Pomegranate Best Management Practices

         (Please note that there is a separate PDF file attached to be hosted on the website, if possible)

     A- Local contacts in Iraq:
           1. Mr. Sardar Sami, Director of Research at the Ministry of Agriculture in
               Kurdistan-Iraq, his email is: Erbil Research Center
               <erbil_research@yahoo.com> Mobile: +964-750-451-3584
           2. Dr. Adel Nouri Al-Ani, College of Agriculture at the University of Diyala
               adelnouri1988@yahoo.com mobile: +964-770-346-4807
           3. Mr. Merdan Ali Al-Azzawi, Environ Iraq NGO,
               iraq_environment@yahoo.com mobiles: +964-790-125-7479, +964-770-
               539-1915, +964-790-187-5023

     B- Links

                  1. For the attached PDF file:

                  2. Others included in the text below:




     1- CLIMATE

           The best quality pomegranate fruits are produced in regions with cool winters and
           hot, dry summers. Pomegranates vary in frost tolerance, but in some cases
           temperatures down to 10°F may not severely injure the plants. The recommended
           site must comply with the growing conditions:

                     Dry weather, particularly during fall.
                     Sandy soil or other with good drainage.
                     Water availability of 3.5 mm/day by drip irrigation including the use of
                      treated or salty water.
                     Temperature: at summer between 30°C - 44°C and during winter need
                      several days below 17°C (and higher than -5°C).

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           Trees are easily propagated with winter hardwood cuttings, 6-8 inches (15-20 cm)
           in length and pencil size or larger in diameter. Cuttings should be taken in
           February or March. The cuttings are planted vertically in open ground 6 to 8
           inches apart in nursery rows, with about 2 to 3 inches of the top exposed. It is not
           necessary to callus the cutting to insure rooting. The plant is allowed to grow for
           one season in the nursery and then transplanted bare root to the orchard the next
           winter or early spring. Seed-propagated plants do not grow true-to-type, but seeds
           will germinate in 45-60 days. Layering is also successful but more labor-

     3- SOILS

           Pomegranates produce best on deep, heavy loams, but are adapted to many soil
           types from pure sand to heavy clay. Yields are usually low on sands, while fruit
           color is poor on clays. Growth on alkaline soils is poor. Optimum growth is
           associated with deep, fairly heavy, moist soils in the pH range of 5.5-7.0.


           Plant trees in early spring (February - March), avoiding late frost. Soil should be
           loosely worked and not too wet. When used as a hedge, plants are spaced 2-3 m
           (6-9 ft.) apart. Suckers will fill spaces and produce a compact hedge. Spacing of
           5-6 m (15-18 ft.) between plants and rows are used for orchards and similar
           spacing should be maintained for dooryard trees. Picking and pruning can be a
           problem under close-planted conditions because workers cannot move freely
           through the rows.


           The pomegranate can withstand long periods of drought, although not much fruit
           is produced under drought conditions. Water requirements for pomegranate are
           about 125-150 cm (50-60 in.) per year. Trees should be irrigated every 7-10 days
           in the absence of significant rainfall. Adequate soil moisture must be maintained
           throughout the growing season particularly as harvest approaches in late summer
           and early fall to reduce potential fruit splitting. Most orchards are irrigated under
           the furrow system, but sprinkler and drip irrigation systems are satisfactory if
           properly designed. Orchards thrive under non-cultivation and semi-non-
           cultivation berm systems. Weed control is difficult because at present no pre-
           emergence herbicides are registered for use in pomegranate orchards.


           Mature pomegranate trees require from ½ to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per tree
           per year, which is equivalent to 2-3 kg (4.5-6.5 lb.) of 8-8-8 (or similar) fertilizer

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           in November and March. Young trees should receive about 1 kg (2-2.5 lb.) of a
           similar fertilizer at the same intervals. Excessive or late applications may delay
           fruit maturity and reduce color and quality. Some evidence indicates that
           excessive nitrogen applications cause increased vegetative growth and reduce
           fruit production. Occasionally, zinc deficiency is evident in trees. This can be
           corrected by applying zinc sprays during the dormant season or to the foliage in
           spring and early summer.


           One widespread insect pest on pomegranates is the flat mite, Brevipalpus lewisi.
           This small, light-reddish mite hibernates under flakes of bark on larger tree limbs
           in foliage in mid to late summer, causing a russeting and checking on mature fruit.
           One or two sulfur dustings in June or early July offer good mite control.

           Omnivorous leaf-roller, Platynola stultana, is another serious pest in many
           pomegranate orchards. The larvae of this insect are first observed in the tops of
           trees nesting in shoot terminals in June and July. As fruit begins to ripen, larvae
           enter in protected locations; under leaves, near the stem, or where two fruits are
           touching. Larvae also cause channels to appear in the rind where they feed under
           leaves. After entering the fruit they feed on kernels and pupate at the entry
           location. The fruit usually rots just inside the entry location. Control is difficult
           because timing must be exact when larvae are first noticed nesting in the shoots. It
           is difficult to get good coverage because the larvae plaster leaves together or to
           fruit, and are thus well protected.

           Mealybug may cause damage to pomegranates and also citricola scale, black
           scale, melon aphid, greenhouse whitefly, katydid and thrips (citrus greenhouse
           and flower) attack the pomegranate but seldom. Scale insects can be controlled by
           an application of 3% oil spray during the winter when the leaves are not present.

     8- DISEASES

           Pomegranate trees are not affected by any serious disease. The fruit, however, is
           frequently damaged by heart rot, caused by Alternaria fungus. At least three
           sprays/year of neutral copper fungicide gives desired control. Removal of old fruit
           from the tree during pruning may eliminate a potential source of fungus as well as
           shoot dieback for the following season. The disease seems to affect more fruit if
           there is much rain in blooming season, thus suggesting that moisture in the bloom
           increases amount of infection.

           Root-knot nematode has been identified in pomegranate roots. Not normally
           considered a serious pest, it may be responsible for a weakening effect on trees,
           particularly those planted in sandy areas or areas where the root-knot nematode
           population is very high. Few insecticides or nematocides are registered for use in
           pomegranate orchards. Control measures for some of the foregoing pests must

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           follow prescribed methods given under special permits through the local
           Agricultural Commissioner.


           Trees form the nursery are planted bare root in winter or early spring. The natural
           growth habit of the pomegranate is to produce many suckers from the base of the
           tree. If a single truck tree is desired, only one vigorous sucker or the trunk of the
           original nursery tree should be selected and branches grown from it. Basal suckers
           should be removed periodically in summer and during dormant pruning to
           promote growth form the main trunk of the newly planted tree.

           Pomegranate trees require a small amount of pruning each winter to maintain
           shape and good bearing surface. Pruning is important to produce stocky, compact
           framework in the first 2 years of growth. Cut trees back to 60-75 cm (2-2.5 ft.) at
           planting and develop three to five symmetrically spaced scaffold limbs by
           pinching back new shoots, the lowest at least 20-25 cm (8-10 in.) from the
           ground. Branches should be shortened to 3/5 of their length during the winter
           following planting. Interfering branches and sprouts should be removed leaving
           two or three shoots per scaffold branch. In addition, some thinning-out of
           crowded bearing areas helps produce larger fruit having fewer wind scars.


           Pomegranate trees are self-fruitful. That is, they can pollinate themselves. Severe
           fruit drop during the plant's juvenile period (3-5 years) is not uncommon. Fruit
           drop is aggravated by practices favoring vegetative growth such as over-
           fertilization and excess irrigation. Avoid putting young trees under conditions of
           stress. Mature trees tend to hold more fruit that are set than will younger trees.


           Picking begins in August before fruit is fully mature. As fruit approaches maturity
           on the tree it may split. For commercial handling, picking should be completed as
           soon as possible after fruit has reached maturity standards. Rain on maturing fruit
           will cause many to split before they can be picked. For shipment, fruit may be
           waxed to enhance the appearance; it can be held in cold storage for several weeks
           without losing market quality. Fruit continues to develop to a darker skin color
           when held at room temperature, and may last several weeks in decorative

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