Excessive amounts of irrigation water and fertilizers are often utilized for early potato cultivation in the Mediterranean basin. Given that water is expensive and limited in the semi-arid areas and that fertilizers above a threshold level often prove inefficacious for production purposes but still risk nitrate and phosphorous pollution of groundwater, iris crucial to provide an adequate irrigation and fertilization management. With the aim of achieving an appropriate combination of irrigation water and nutrient application in cultivation management of a potato crop in a Mediterranean environment, a 2-year experiment was conducted in Sicily (South Italy). The combined effects of 3 levels of irrigation (irrigation only at plant emergence, 50% and 100% of the maximum evapotranspiration - ETM) and 3 levels of mineral fertilization (low: 50,25 and 75 kg ha(-1) medium: 100.50 and 150 kg ha(-1) and high: 300, 100 and 450 kg ha(-1) of N. P(2)O(5) and K(2)O) were studied on the tuber yield and yield components, on both water irrigation and fertilizer productivity and on the plant source/sink (canopy/tubers dry weight) ratio. The results show a marked interaction between level of irrigation and level of fertilization on tuber yield, on Irrigation Water Productivity and on fertilizer productivity of the potato crop. We found that the treatments based on 50% ETM and a medium level of fertilization represent a valid compromise in early potato cultivation management. Compared to the high combination levels of irrigation and fertilization, this treatment entails a negligible reduction in tuber yield to save 90 mm ha(-1) year(-1) of irrigation water and 200,50 and 300 kg ha(-1) year(-1) of N, P(2)O(5) and K(2)O, respectively, with notable economic savings for farmers compared to the spendings that are usually made.
|Titolo:||Tuber yield, water and fertilizer productivity in early potato as affected by a combination of irrigation and fertilization|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2011|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|