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Citrus

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Taxonomy:
Family:
Rutaceae
Genus:
Citrus
Species:
C. Limon, C. sinensis, C. aurantifolia, C. reticulata, C. paradise, C. maxima
Occurrence & Agricultural Importance in this Country:
Cultivation Areas:
Most types of citrus cultivation can be found in Iraq due to the appropriate environmental conditions for cultivation, especially in the central and southern regions.
Main Varieties:

Trees of the following groups are cultivated:

Sweet oranges, Moro blood, Naval, Narang, Trang, grapefruit, acid lemon, acid lemon (Basra), erratic lemon (Mkherfsh or crepe), Mandarin, Sindhi and grapefruit

Marketing Information and Uses:
Use:
Apart from being traded fresh, citrus fruits are also processed into jam/marmalade. The flowers and skins are used in the extraction of essential oils as well as feed for livestock. Pectin may be extracted and is used in the manufacture of various fruit conserves. Calcium citrate may also be extracted to use as an aid to digestion, as well as in the manufacture of juices and concentrates.
Markets:
Almost all the production of Iraq is consumed locally as fresh fruit. In most years, quantities of fruit are also imported from neighboring countries.
Crop Management:
Cultivation conditions and methods:
Soil Type:
Citrus are best cultivated in light soils. Sandy soils are also acceptable, so long as the trees are provided with the required organic and mineral fertilizer. Heavy land unsuitable for citrus due to increased water retention which may lead to “gummy root”. Soil salinity and water irrigation also impact the success of citrus: Citrus can grow where the pH is between 5 to 8.5.
Temperatures:
Generally low temperatures and sub-zero temperatures are not well tolerated. Excessive high temperatures may also lead to problems. Citrus can tolerant high temperature up to 51 centigrade; the most toleranct type to high temperature is the grapefruit, shadok. Lemon and naval oranges are less heat tolerant.
Water Requirements:
The need for irrigation water depends on temperature, wind, soil type and age of the tree; also the salt content of water is important. Generally, heavy irrigation of orchards done at the end of winter at the beginning of new growth) both growth and flowering. Water should be of good quality. irrigation during the period flowering – fruit set should be well managed so as not to negatively impact either petal fall or fruit set. Irrigation should be regularly during fruit growth because water shortages during this period lead to influence the size of fruits and yield. Reducing irrigation later on encourages maturation of fruit. Irrigation needs to be continued after harvest and throughout winter, but infrequently.
Nutrition Requirements:
Citrus needs organic fertilizer; foliar fertilizer may also be used to overcome micro-element deficiencies.
Harvesting Period:
Flowers occur in subtropical and arid and semi-arid regions at the beginning of the spring season. With the exception of Eureka lemon, Al-Ajmi lemon and Benzaher, flowering continues throughout the year.
Harvesting Methods:
Hand picking

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