عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: Saffron is an annual plant that grows based on underground organs of the plant as corms and can be used for several years under farming conditions. This plant is the main source of income for many farmers in rural areas of eastern Iran. Khorasan Razavi province with 76% of cultivation area and 74% of production has the first place in saffron production. Among the different cities of Khorasan Razavi province, Torbat Heydariyeh city with a cultivation area of about 8 thousand hectares out of 87 thousand hectares of the whole province has an area equivalent to about 10%. Contrary to the level of cultivation, the average yield in Khorasan Razavi province is 3.4 kg / ha, which is 0.22 kg / ha lower than the national average. Considering that the level of saffron that is increasing in many parts of the country and on the other hand, according to the long-term average statistics, its yield has decreased significantly. The need for continuous monitoring of planting level and yield is one of the most issues for managers and programs. This research was conducted using the information of referral letters issued for guaranteed purchase of saffron in the Torbat-e Heydariyeh Kadkan town to analyze and evaluate the performance of saffron in 2017 and 2019.
Materials and Methods: In order to study saffron cultivation and its yield in the Kadkan town, cultivation data and yield data in the years 2017 and 2019 were analyzed. Guaranteed purchase information of saffron was used to collect data. In 2017, 95 people (at the level of 132 hectares) and in 2019, 173 people (at the level of 257 hectares) of saffron farmers in the Kadkan town to deliver saffron to guaranteed shopping centers (Rural Cooperative Office of Torbat Heydariyeh) to Jihad Agricultural Center. They came to Torbat-e Heydarieh Kadkan and received a letter of introduction. The information of these referrals (area under cultivation, dry stigma yield, production rate, village name and amount of saffron delivered) was used to analyze saffron cultivation in Torbat-e Heydariyeh, Kadkan town in 2017 to 2019.
Results and Discussion: Based on the results of saffron yield in the Kadkan town in 2017 and 2019, 5.17 and 8.64 kg of dry stigma obtained, respectively. The amount of saffron delivered to shopping centers in 2017 and 2019 was 532 and 1270 kg, respectively. According to the results of saffron yield in 2017 compared to 2019 due to climatic and managerial conditions, has increased by 67%. Fitting of cultivation and yield data of 95 saffron farms in 2017 using a linear model showed that with increasing the area under saffron cultivation, yield decreases R = 0.26 **. Also in the polynomial model. Second degree, with increasing the area under cultivation to the level of five hectares, the yield decreased and since then showed a slight increasing trend (R = 0.26 **). Fitting of cultivation data and yield of 173 saffron farms in 2019 based on the second degree polynomial model R = 0.24 24 ** showed that with increasing the area under cultivation up to seven hectares, the yield has decreased and since then it has an increasing trend. In the third degree polynomial model R = 0.28**, like the second degree of yield, decreased to seven hectares and then increased and then was fixed. Considering that the cultivation area of the most farms in Kadkan town was between 0.1 and 2 hectares and farms up to two hectares in the villages of Kadkan townt, it is non-mechanized, therefore, in these farms, the management of smaller farms could be done more easily and the increase in yield for these farms was predictable.
Conclusion: According to the results of the present study, the yield of saffron in 2017 and 2016 was 5.16 and 8.64 kg / ha, respectively. Considering that the average yield of saffron in the country is 3.62 kg per hectare (Statistics of the Ministry of Jihad Agriculture, 2018), the yield of saffron in the Torbat-e-Heydariyeh Kadkan town can be considered as high yield in the country, which is probably due to climatic conditions and is managerial. 67% increase in yield in 2019 compared to 2017due to climatic reasons (increased rainfall) and management (nutrition, agriculture, training, irrigation, proper planting date, use of corms with appropriate weight, disinfection of corms at planting, Summer irrigation, weed control).