EVALUATION OF REGULATED DEFICIT IRRIGATION FOR APPLE TREES CV. 'GALA' BASED ON MIDDAY STEM WATER POTENTIAL AND SOIL MATRIX POTENTIAL

A. Chenafi, C. Carlen, A. Boudoukha, A. Hofer, P. Monney
Regulated deficit irrigation is one of the most promising methods to ensure irrigation of orchards, being both economical and efficient in terms of yield and fruit quality. However, its application in practice is hindered by many difficulties due to high cost and complexity of measurement systems. Are inexpensive and widely used sensors such as Watermark® sensors adapted to the regulation of deficit irrigation? The results reported here show that the measuring range of Watermark® sensors and their accuracy is sufficient to control deficit irrigation according to a -1.2 MPa threshold for Midday Stem Water Potential (Ψstem) without consequences on yields and fruit quality. Once established, the critical value for Soil Matrix Potential (SMP) tends to remain constant for several years, tree fruit load being the main factor that would justify a small adaptation.
Chenafi, A., Carlen, C., Boudoukha, A., Hofer, A. and Monney, P. (2014). EVALUATION OF REGULATED DEFICIT IRRIGATION FOR APPLE TREES CV. 'GALA' BASED ON MIDDAY STEM WATER POTENTIAL AND SOIL MATRIX POTENTIAL. Acta Hortic. 1038, 137-144
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1038.15
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1038.15
RDI, water use efficiency, sub-irrigation
English

Acta Horticulturae