5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Charles Barrett
Session Name Poster Session - Water & Nutrients in Managed Landscapes
Poster Number 47
Author(s) Charles Barrett,  University of Florida (Presenting Author)
  Lincoln Zotarelli,  University of Florida
  Lucas Parahnos, University of Florida
  Converting from seepage to plasticulture for Florida grown cabbage
  The uncertainties of future climate conditions call for more variable and unpredictable weather patterns. Regardless of the climate outcomes, there is already an urgent world wide need for more sustainable water resource management caused by the depletion of major aquifers and population growth. In Florida, a high population cabbage production system was developed to address these shared issues. By integrating an increased plant population with more water efficient production practices, we were able to optimize cabbage production while reducing the potential for off-farm nutrient movement as compared to the standard seepage system. Cabbage was grown on 1.2 meter wide raised beds with black plastic mulch and drip irrigation. Through the use of plasticulture, yield was increased from 33.6 Mg/ha to 59.4 Mg/ha on average over the traditional bareground production system. Water savings from using plasticulture were estimated at 381 mm during a low rainfall year. High population vegetable crop production systems that maximize water use efficiency, like the system developed for Florida cabbage, have great potential to provide sustainable food production for the future.