400-3 Real Time Irrigation Management in Strawberry Production in California.

See more from this Division: S06 Soil & Water Management & Conservation
See more from this Session: Water and Irrigation Management
Wednesday, October 24, 2012: 1:30 PM
Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 203, Level 2
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Jean Caron1, Valerie Bernier2 and Guillaume L├ętourneau1, (1)Universite Laval, Ste Foy, QC, Canada
(2)Univ. Laval, Zone Universite Laval Bookstore, Ste-foy, QC, CANADA
Saving water and reducing leaching is a growing concern in many locations across North America and agriculture is a primary user of drinkable water sources. Strawberry production, because of its concentration and importance, is facing possible severe water restrictions and research is being put in place to improve its water use and to reduce leaching. The objectives of this study were to determine the optimal irrigation thresholds relative to yield, quality and water consumption of strawberry on the structure clay soil and Watsonville area, California. The study was conducted on a Clear Lake clay soil in Watsonville, CA. Strawberries were planted in November 2010 and harvested from mid-May to October 201. Three treatments based on varying tension measurements to determine irrigation thresholds were imposed: a dry treatment (-20 kPa), a wet treatment: (-10 kPa) and a Control (grower) treatment were thresholds varied. Soil physical properties, soil EC and plant physiological parameters were measured performance and hydric stress measurements. The dry treatment (-20 kPa) allowed for a 30 to 35% water savings as compared to the wet and control treatments for the entire season. Early in the season (150/240 days), 50% water savings was realized with no productivity losses. In addition, leaching was greatly reduced. During the growing season, no significant difference between treatments in fruit quality (Brix Index), fruit size and plant canopy. Before June 27th, strawberry production was the same for the 3 treatments. However, yields in the dry sub-plots were the lowest from June 27th to October 4th , indicating that -20 kPa was a little bit too dry.
See more from this Division: S06 Soil & Water Management & Conservation
See more from this Session: Water and Irrigation Management