Significance of water in crop production and photosynthesis:
Water plays a vital role in crop production and photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis helps in creating enzymes, proteins, vitamins, hormones and amino acids that supports tree growth and fruit
production, additionally oils and sugars in the fruit. Water serves as an incredible source in
supplying salts and minerals to the roots and leaves. On the other hand, water utilized for
leaching helps to rid the root zone of salts that can prompt to tip burn and leaf drop, which can
diminish the fruit production. Water moreover helps to get the leaves of the tree cool to avoid
over-heating and potential shut down of photosynthesis.
National issue in orchards – Decline in tree health
Over-watering also results in considerable decline in tree health and the death of many trees
because most of the fungal diseases become a problem following wet weather or in conditions of
high humidity. Survey and research work declared that most important fungus among these is
Phytophthora root rot, but in wet soils, other fungi may exacerbate injury to already damaged
roots. But unfortunately, the exact amount of water differs for each grove due to differences in
soil types, microclimate, elevation changes and tree type, size and health.
What if there is excess of water????
Excessive rainfall, over irrigation or poor seepage can bring about flooding, soil compaction and
corrosion in orchards. Abundance of moisture may enhances the incidence of: diseases because it
gives a domain perfect to root, crown and collar rots, vegetative growth, winter injury,
splitting/cracking of fruit (eg. sweet cherries), tree mortality and nutrient deficiencies. Soil pH
has a big effect on what nutrients will turn out to be either pretty much accessible in overflowed
Excessive moisture can also confines root development resulting in decreased yields and plant
vigour, and making the trees more vulnerable to tipping over due to high winds or heavy crop
loads. Unmanaged water runoff can result in sediment loading into streams and open outlet
channels negatively affecting water quality. Roots in the waterlogged conditions are rapidly
killed as soil aeration becomes impaired i.e. 65% of the underlying root lengths die (eg. Kiwi
fruit). Moreover, waterlogged trees cannot take up water and results in one of the main
symptoms seen is shriveling of the foliage and shoots, especially in warm climate.
There are various biological and chemical processes that occur once the soil becomes
waterlogged and devoid of oxygen however how vital these changes are will rely on the
period of time the soil remains saturated. When soils become saturated, gas diffusion and
exchange between the soil and the atmosphere is hindered because the air pores are filled with
water. This will result in changes in the concentration of gases such as oxygen (O2) and carbon
dioxide (CO2). Root tips can start to die following 24-48 hours without oxygen. Most research
concludes that low O2 and no excess of CO2 is liable to be the significant source of damage
associated with short term soil flooding.
Cumulative challenge in Orchards
Managing water in orchards is an expanding challenge with changing weather patterns. Growers
should be set up to manage with excess moisture to ensure tree growth and fruit development. So
that chances of tree decline may get diminished, our economy enhances and the anxiety of our
little ranchers gets reduced.