3rd UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Joel Reyes-Cabrera
Session Name Posters - Efficacy of Nutrient Source Control Strategies 1
Category Efficacy of nutrient source control strategies
Poster Number 2
Author(s) Joel Reyes-Cabrera,  Horticultural Department (Presenting Author)
  Lincoln Zotarelli,  Horticultural Sciences
  Michael  Dukes, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  Diane  Rowland, Agronomy Department
  Steven  Sargent, Horticultural Sciences
  Drip Irrigation as an Alternative Strategy to Increase Water Saving for Potato Production in Northeast Florida.
  Potato is the most important spring crop in northeast Florida. Seepage irrigation is the predominant grower irrigation practice where the water table is raised to moisten the root zone. Irrigation techniques with higher delivery efficiency such as drip have potential to save water by applying it direct to the root zone as the crop needs. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of drip irrigation as alternative irrigation method for potato production. Irrigation treatments and potato varieties were tested in a split plot design in a randomized complete-blocks design with four replicates. Main plots received the irrigation treatments: surface drip tape (SUR); subsurface drip tape (SUB); and seepage (SEP). The subplots received three potato varieties: Atlantic, Fabula and Red LaSoda. Volume of applied water, plant biomass, marketable yield and tuber quality were determined. Use of drip treatments (both surface and subsurface drip) reduced irrigation water by 57% compared to the seepage treatment; 393 812 gal water/ac saved when drip tape was used. Marketable yields achieved in SUR treatment were 234, 143, and 113 cwt/ac for Atlantic, Fabula and Red LaSoda respectively. SUB yields were 177, 107, and 146 cwt/ac while for SEP irrigation marketable yields were 209, 141, and 233 cwt/ac for Atlantic, Fabula and Red LaSoda respectively. Low yields obtained for Red LaSoda under SUR and SUB treatments indicated that alternative irrigation scheduling needs to be investigated for this variety. Appropriate use of SUR can sustain profitable yields while saving irrigation water in soils with low water-holding capacity.