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Grand Forks Air Force Base, ND, United States

Byrd S.A.,University of Florida | Rowland D.L.,University of Florida | Bennett J.,University of Florida | Zotarelli L.,University of Florida | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Potato Research | Year: 2015

Many irrigation scheduling methods utilized in commercial production settings rely on soil water sensors that are normally purchased as off-the-shelf technology or through contracted services that install and monitor readings throughout the season. These systems often assume a direct relationship between the parameters measured by these soil water sensors (voltage, unitless values, or calibrated soil moisture values) and the water use and deficit stress of the crop. Because of this assumed relationship, these sensors are purported to be useful for triggering irrigation applications by monitoring relative changes in sensor values that represent either a “dry” or “wet” condition in the field. However, there is often little confirmation that these sensors accurately reflect crop water uptake or what soil depths will best represent that relationship. In an attempt to quantify the association between the use of soil water sensors and crop water use in a commercial potato field, measurements of soil water using capacitance probes and plant water use using sap flow sensors were monitored. Measurements were taken in two water application treatments: a normal (full) and partial irrigation schedule because it was hypothesized that the relative strength of the relationship between sensor reading and crop water use may be highly dependent on field soil water status. Relative soil moisture readings and plant water use data were compiled and both linear and quadratic regressions were performed. The correlation between sap flow and soil sensor readings was significant; but the relationship was relatively weak with the strength dependent on the soil depth that was monitored, indicating that care must be taken when utilizing sensor readings for irrigation scheduling. © 2015 The Potato Association of America Source

Byrd S.A.,University of Florida | Rowland D.L.,University of Florida | Bennett J.,University of Florida | Zotarelli L.,University of Florida | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Crop Improvement | Year: 2014

Proper irrigation scheduling in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) can lead to higher returns and more sustainable production practices when compared to systems that do not take plant water demand into account. In an attempt to reduce irrigation applications while minimizing yield reduction, we evaluated a novel deficit irrigation treatment utilizing a mild irrigation reduction during tuber bulking by comparing a typical commercial irrigation schedule to a partial irrigation schedule. Physiological, yield, and quality effects were quantified. Reducing the number of irrigation applications by 14 in 2011 and by 9 in 2012 minimally affected most parameters measured. However, a significant yield reduction of 11,713 kg/ha in the partial irrigation treatment occurred in 2011, likely because of the irrigation treatment commencing at the latter portion of tuber initiation. In 2012, the initiation of the partial irrigation was delayed and resulted in no significant difference in yield between the partial and full irrigation treatments. This study shows the potential for a reduced irrigation schedule for use by Florida potato growers as a sustainable option for potato production in this region. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

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