Comparison of the environmental indicators of phosphorus efficiency and the balance between saffron and wheat production systems in the Qaenat region, Iran


1 PhD student of Ecology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

2 Associated Prof. Faculty of Agriculture, University of Birjand

3 Assistant Prof. Faculty of Agriculture, University of Birjand



Improving the resource use efficiency in agro- ecosystems is an important
factor for reducing environmental pollution. To evaluate phosphorus (P) efficiency and
balance indicators, research was conducted in wheat and saffron production systems in
the Qaenat region (South Khorasan Province, Iran) during 2011 and 2012, based on the
method of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The
required information about wheat and saffron cultivation was collected via questionnaires
and the required coefficients were obtained from various literatures. The results showed
that the phosphorus efficiency and balance indicators were significantly different between
distinct districts only in the case of wheat crops. The highest P efficiencies of wheat and
saffron farms were 7.21% and 2.93%, respectively. Additionally, P efficiency and
balance indicators showed a significant difference between both crops in some districts,
so that wheat had higher P efficiency than saffron, which was mainly because of the
different amounts of animal manure applied to these crops. There was no significant
difference between the different ages of saffron farms for P efficiency and balance.
Furthermore, there was a significant negative correlation between P efficiency and
balance indicators. It would appear that there are many opportunities for improving the
efficiency of P and to prevent environmental pollution through the optimization of
management decisions.


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