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All plant essential nutrients except Molybdenum are not easily available in alkaline calcareous soils. Among them, the deficiency of micronutrients particularly Zinc and iron is widespread in crops and fruit orchards. For this purpose, a survey study was carried out across five districts of Balochistan viz Kalat, Killa Abdullah, Pishin, Quetta and Ziarat during 2016 aiming to determine both soil and leaf Zn status of apple orchards. The 150 soil and leaf samples were collected and statistically divided them as 30 samples of each district in 3 groups of 10 samples and analysed through one way analysis of variance. The results showed that soil pH of apple orchards was in alkaline range and EC was almost normal with statistically at par differences. While, the AB-DTPA extractable Zn in soil of various apple orchards across five districts revealed that 5, 23 and 2 orchards in Kalat, 3, 24 and 3 in Killa Abdullah, 15 15 and 0.0 in Pishin and Ziarat while 20, 10 and 0.0 in Quetta expressed low, marginal and adequate Zn concentration. The leaf tissue analysis for Zn status indicated that 23.3% apple orchards in Kalat, 6.7% in Killa Abdullah, 33.3% in Pishin, 73.3% in Quetta and 56.7% in district Ziarat were found Zn deficient. Consequently, this study suggest that Zinc supplementation to soil of these orchards are needed while the addition of compost under such alkaline soil also necessary and is considered as one of the best management practices for apple orchards.
Keywords: Apple orchards; Leaf Zn concentration; Locations; Soil Zn concentration