Sowing date, transplanting, plant density and nitrogen fertilization affect indigo production from Isatis species in a Mediterranean region of Spain
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The increasing interest in natural products from a renewable source has encouraged growers to reintroduce indigo-producing crops into the European agriculture. We studied agronomic conditions (sowing date, plant density, nitrogen fertilization, irrigation rate, seedling transplanting) influencing production of the blue pigment indigo, from Isatis tinctoria and I. indigotica crops in a Mediterranean region of Spain (Valencia). I. tinctoria was more suitable for cultivation in our climate conditions than I. indigotica. Indigo yield from Spanish I. tinctoria trials was greater than in Northern and Central Europe. Furthermore, indigo production was maintained when water and nitrogen supplies were significantly restricted, showing that I. tinctoria is not a high-demanding crop. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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