Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Relationships for Irrigated Chile Production

E. L. Babcock, J. C. Silvertooth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In a field study of irrigated chile (Capsicum annum L.) production in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico from 2008 through 2009, soil and tissue test samples were analyzed for a spectrum of plant nutrients at 16 different sites, including nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), and boron (B). The objectives were to evaluate soil and tissue nutrient testing procedures and to establish basic soil and plant tissue-testing guidelines and recommendations with respect to yield potentials. Soil samples were collected before planting. Plant tissue samples from plots at all sites were collected at the following four stages of growth: first bloom (FB), early bloom (EB), peak bloom (PB), and physiological maturity (PM). Fertilizer and nutrient inputs were monitored, managed, and recorded within current extension guidelines for irrigated chiles. Results for soil and tissue analyses were compared to yield results. The results provide estimates for baselines, which can be tested through subsequent calibration experiments to establish recommendations for critical soil- and tissue-test values. Absolute minimum soil-test nutrient values were identified as 10 parts per million (ppm) P, 110 ppm K, 0.3 ppm Zn, 2.0 ppm Fe, and 0.25 ppm B. Absolute minimum FB leaf tissue test values were 0.2% P, 4.5% K, 10 ppm Zn, 80 ppm Fe, and 30 ppm B. Complete data sets for leaf and petiole tissue-test values for all stages of growth were collected. These soil-test and plant nutrient values will be evaluated in subsequent experiments to better define fertilizer nutrient inputs and to gain better nutrient-management efficiencies in irrigated chile production systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2651-2668
Number of pages18
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Chile
  • irrigated chile production
  • nitrogen
  • nutrient management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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