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The influence of 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate and dicyandiamide on reducing nitrate accumulation in spinach under Mediterranean conditions

  • IGNACIO IRIGOYEN (a1), CARMEN LAMSFUS (a2), PEDRO APARICIO-TEJO (a2) and JULIO MURO (a1)

Abstract

The European Union has limited the maximum nitrate (NO3) content allowed for industrial processed spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) to 2000 mg/kg fresh weight in order to avoid human pathologies associated with uptake of high amounts of nitrate. Nitrification inhibitors (NIs) 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP) and dicyandiamide (DCD) allow changing of the molecular form (NH4+ or NO3) in which soil mineral N is available for plants. Enhancing ammonium nutrition has successfully reduced the amount of nitrate accumulated in plants in hydroponic culture. Therefore, fertilizers containing NIs have been proposed to reduce nitrate accumulated by vegetables grown in field conditions. Basammon Stabil® (BS) and Entec 26®-(E26) are commercial fertilizers containing DCD and DMPP respectively. In the present paper, the effect of applying ammonium sulphate nitrate (ASN), BS and E26 at three rates (0, 150 and 250 kg N/ha) to spinach crops cultivated under Mediterranean growing conditions for industrial processing is analysed. During 1998 and 1999, eight field split-plot trials with four replicates were carried out in the Ebro Valley, northern Spain, during different seasons and with various soil types. The fertilizer effects were influenced by the season and the type of soil. In spring, fertilizers containing NIs increased the mineral N (Nmin) in the soil and greatly reduced nitrate accumulation in the crop. In autumn, with less solar radiation, the nitrate accumulation was more than 2000 mg/kg fresh weight on many occasions and the effect of NIs was smaller. The present paper concluded that, under Mediterranean growing conditions, DCD can reduce nitrate accumulation in spinach between 18 and 61% and DMPP between 33 and 84%, without reducing yield or changing other quality characteristics. NIs are especially useful in the spring, when soil temperature is low and solar radiation interception by the crop is high.

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To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email: natxo.irigoien@unavarra.es

The influence of 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate and dicyandiamide on reducing nitrate accumulation in spinach under Mediterranean conditions

  • IGNACIO IRIGOYEN (a1), CARMEN LAMSFUS (a2), PEDRO APARICIO-TEJO (a2) and JULIO MURO (a1)

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