SPATIAL VARIATION IN SOIL HUMIDITY - IMPLICATIONS FOR YIELD AND IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT OF 'CONFERENCE' PEAR

W. Odeurs, P. Janssens, T. Deckers, W. Verjans, J. Van Beek, P. Coppin, H. Vandendriessche
Drip irrigation is a technique frequently used to prevent water stress and to achieve a maximal fruit yield and fruit quality in pear orchards cultivar ‘Conference’ in Belgium and the Netherlands. The irrigation scheme in an orchard is often based on measurements performed at only a few trees per orchard disregarding the spatial variance in soil moisture throughout the orchard, which occurs due to slopes, differentiation in soil profiles and differentiation in planting regime. To evaluate the importance of this spatial variation in soil moisture an intensive survey was set up in a Belgian fruit orchard in 2010 and 2011. Soil water content (θv) and stem water potential (Ψstem) were monitored weekly at different positions alongside a slope in the fruit orchard. The variation in topography caused variation in soil moisture which lead to variations in fruit yield in the high fruit size classes. This yield variation was successful related to Χstem illustrating its value for revealing water stress. A model was suggested to predict Ψstem based on θv and ETo when no direct observations of Ψstem are available.
Odeurs, W., Janssens, P., Deckers, T., Verjans, W., Van Beek, J., Coppin, P. and Vandendriessche, H. (2014). SPATIAL VARIATION IN SOIL HUMIDITY - IMPLICATIONS FOR YIELD AND IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT OF 'CONFERENCE' PEAR. Acta Hortic. 1038, 343-349
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1038.40
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1038.40
Pyrus communis, stem water potential (Ψstem), drip irrigation, irrigation scheduling, remote sensing
English

Acta Horticulturae