Potato yield under tile drainage, overhead irrigation and subirrigation

Authors: Satchithanantham, S, Rs Ranjan, B Shewfelt, S Sager
Description: Potato is an important high value crop in Manitoba. Both lack of, and excess of soil water could lead to plant stress, reduced yield and poor quality. Several millions of dollars have been paid out as insurance claims due to drought and inundation. Since potato is very sensitive to smaller fluctuations in soil water content yield and quality can be improved by better water management strategies. The objective of this study was to evaluate four different water management treatments on Potato yield. They were no drainage with overhead irrigation (NDIR), free drainage with overhead irrigation (FDIR), controlled drainage with subirrigation (CDSI), and no drainage and no irrigation (NDNI) as control. The study was conducted in a farm located in Sothern Manitoba on a fine sandy loam. Tile drains were installed at a depth of 0.9 m in November 2009. Controlled drainage and subirrigation were carried out with a targeted water table depth of 0.6 m using drainage control structures, while a travelling gun system provided overhead irrigation. Potato yield and groundwater table depth data were collected. Yield for the different treatments are: 50.01 (NDIR), 53.58 (FDIR), 46.78 (CDSI), and 40.44 (NDNI) MT/ha. When compared to the control, a yield increase between 15-32% was observed in 2011 in the treatments with better water management.
Keywords: subirrigation, controlled drainage, potato yield
Technical field: technical_fields_app7
Session name: Soil and water
Date: 2012
Identifier: CSBE12114
Coverage: Canada

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