Announcements

Job offersmore »



Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

  • No news has been published yesterday.

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




A closer look at mulch bell peppers

Bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) plants have a high demand for water and nutrients. Water stress on bell pepper is associated with reduced yields and incidence of blossom-end rot (BER). High irrigation rates are commonly applied to maximize yields. Excessive irrigation rates, however, may negatively affect bell pepper plants.

The objective of a new study was to evaluate the effects of irrigation rates and calcium fertilization on plant growth and fruit yield and quality. Trials were conducted in the spring of 2001, 2003, and 2005 at the University of Georgia, Tifton Campus. Drip-irrigated bell pepper (‘Camelot’ or ‘Stiletto’) plants were grown on black plastic mulch. Plants were irrigated with rates that ranged from 33% to 167% of the rate of crop evapotranspiration (ETc).

Results showed that irrigation at 70% ETc (2001), 67% ETc (2003), and 50% ETc (2003) were sufficient to maximize vegetative growth and fruit yield and provided yields similar to those at 100% ETc. Leaf net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance (gS) were reduced, and incidence of BER was increased with reduced irrigation rates (33% and 67% ETc). Incidences of soilborne diseases (Pythium spp. and Phytophtora capsici) tended to increase in plants receiving excessive irrigation rates (167% ETc). Irrigation rate also affected fruit quality; incidence of BER and fruit soluble solids were both increased at 33% ETc. Calcium fertilization had no effect on soil water content (SWC), plant growth, and incidence of soilborne diseases, and an inconsistent effect on fruit yield and incidence of BER.

In conclusion, there is potential for use of irrigation at rates below 100% ETc. Reduced irrigation diminished the volumes of water applied and provided fruit yields similar to those at 100% ETc. Excessive irrigation rates (167% ETc or above) wasted water and resulted in both higher incidences of soilborne diseases and reduced bell pepper yields.

Access the full study at HortScience.

Publication date: 7/10/2017

 


 

Other news in this sector:

11/16/2017 Reduced ultraviolet light transmission increases insecticide longevity
11/15/2017 UK: Growers growing with a difference
11/14/2017 Indo-Dutch cooperation on crop residue management
11/14/2017 One step closer to crops with twice the yield
11/13/2017 Vegetable grafting: principles and practices
11/10/2017 More accurate crop research available
11/10/2017 US: $600,000 in grants to help specialty crop growers in Colorado
11/10/2017 South Africa: Western Cape could get Centre of Excellence
11/8/2017 Update on Dutch high wire trials in energy efficient systems
11/8/2017 Israeli season kicks off with high prospects, threats and opportunities
11/8/2017 US: Successful growing season with new arugula varieties
11/8/2017 Circadian clock discovery could help boost water efficiency in food plants
11/7/2017 Hungary to help modernise Uganda's agriculture sector
11/3/2017 US: Nebraska looks to solve global food security by sharing its knowledge of irrigation
11/2/2017 NFT cultivation system boosts Lebanese lettuce production
11/2/2017 US (MI): End of season for double-cropped raspberries under high tunnels
11/2/2017 UK: Ending water abstraction licensing exemptions
11/1/2017 "HPS and LED top lighting best tomato recipe in winter"
10/31/2017 Vegetable crop conservation in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System
10/27/2017 Strong support to feed the world through boosting photosynthetic potential