Irrigation in arid regions requires special attention to optimize the management of all components of the orchard system in order to increase water use efficiency and reduce environmental impacts (e.g. soil salinization, degradation of ground and surface waters). This six-year study reports the comparison of some orchard practices (soil and irrigation management, plant nutrition) routinely adopted by local farmers (conventional, C) with those interventions having the potential to save water and maximize water use efficiency in a peach orchard and therefore defined as sustainable (S). Due to the relative approach (C versus S) used in this study, classical statistical comparison of results could not be made. The S system included the application of regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) with specific crop coefficients to calculate the plant water requirement. The S system on average saved 1450 m3 ha-1 of water per year without affecting yield or fruit quality. The concept of economic water productivity (EWP) is discussed. We conclude that addressing some practices currently adopted by farmers could increase sustainability of irrigation and enhance (EWP) in peach tree orchards.

Integration of the regulated deficit irrigation strategy in a sustainable orchard management system

DICHIO, Bartolomeo;MONTANARO, Giuseppe;XILOYANNIS, Cristos
2011

Abstract

Irrigation in arid regions requires special attention to optimize the management of all components of the orchard system in order to increase water use efficiency and reduce environmental impacts (e.g. soil salinization, degradation of ground and surface waters). This six-year study reports the comparison of some orchard practices (soil and irrigation management, plant nutrition) routinely adopted by local farmers (conventional, C) with those interventions having the potential to save water and maximize water use efficiency in a peach orchard and therefore defined as sustainable (S). Due to the relative approach (C versus S) used in this study, classical statistical comparison of results could not be made. The S system included the application of regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) with specific crop coefficients to calculate the plant water requirement. The S system on average saved 1450 m3 ha-1 of water per year without affecting yield or fruit quality. The concept of economic water productivity (EWP) is discussed. We conclude that addressing some practices currently adopted by farmers could increase sustainability of irrigation and enhance (EWP) in peach tree orchards.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/19108
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