field application of deficit irrigation strategies in processing tomato
A field experiment was carried out in Northern Italy, within the frame of the EU project SAFIR, to test the feasibility of partial root-zone drying (PRD) management on processing tomato and to compare PRD irrigation strategy with regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) management. In 2007, there was no difference between RDI and PRD for the total and marketable yield. In 2008, PRD increased the marketable yield by 14.8% while the total yield was similar to RDI. Water Use Efficiency (WUE) was higher with PRD (+14%) compared to RDI. PRD didn’t improve fruit quality, although in 2007 a better °Brix, colour and acidity were observed. PRD reduced irrigation water volume (-9.0% of RDI) while a higher dry matter accumulation in the fruits was recorded both in 2007 and 2008. The income for each cubic meter of irrigation water was 10.6 € in RDI and 14.8 € in PRD, respectively. The gross margin obtained with each kg of nitrogen was not statistically different between PRD and RDI. Although PRD showed a better WUE, the income per hectare was not increased by this irrigation strategy.
Acta Horticulturae, 2013, Vol 971, p. 77-84
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12th ISHS Symposium on the Processing Tomato, 2013