Irrigation and Nitrogen Best Management Practices Under Drip Irrigated Vegetable Production

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Research by Michael D. Dukes, Lincoln Zotarelli, Johannes M. S. Scholberg, Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, University of Florida, presented at World Water and Environmental Resource Congress.
Summary by Acclima.

This study evaluated several water irrigation treatments allowing up to five watering events per day depending on the soil water threshold controller (SMS) for tomato and green bell pepper, as a comparison time based treatments (TIME) of one daily irrigations were established to mimic typical producer practices. SMS control of irrigation resulted in 29%-44% less irrigation water used on tomato and 37%-66% less water used on pepper when compared to TIME treatments. Tomato yield was significantly higher on SMS treatments compared to TIME treatments, but yield was similar across all pepper treatments. SMS treatments increased irrigation water use efficiency two to three times compared to TIME treatments on both tomato and pepper. In addition, yields on tomato were significantly higher on the two SMS treatments compared to the TIME treatment. Acclima controllers were two to three times more efficient than typical producer practices while producing equal or better crop yields.

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