Cultivar-specific yield response of white asparagus towards different irrigation levels based on climate water balance
Irrigation plays a major role in the production of asparagus. Cultivation in sandy soils with low water holding capacity involves water supply to exploit the full yield potential of the perennial crop. Both, deficit and over-irrigation carry economic and ecological risks. Losses due to waterlogging or fungal infestation face those of water and nutrient shortage. Over-irrigation is accompanied with nutrient outflow and may contribute to groundwater impacts. Thus, appropriate water supply demands precise irrigation scheduling evaluated in terms of product quality. The aim of this study was to determine the yield response of two asparagus cultivars towards differing irrigation levels considering spear quality classes. From 2013 to 2017, two experiments with Asparagus officinalis L. Gijnlim and Backlim, respectively, were conducted in open field with sandy soil in Ingelheim, Germany. The randomized block design consisted of four irrigation treatments and four replications. Factor levels based on graduated crop coefficients of the climate water balance. Spear yield was sorted into six diameter classes based on UNECE quality standards and was analysed in respect to water supply of the preceding vegetation period. Yield and quality response of both cultivars towards graduated water supply explains the relevance of validated crop coefficients for irrigation scheduling based on climate water balance. Considering the economically most relevant quality class 16-26 mm, Gijnlim is more sensitive to water supply than Backlim.
Zinkernagel, J., Artelt, B. and Mayer, N. (2018). Cultivar-specific yield response of white asparagus towards different irrigation levels based on climate water balance. Acta Hortic. 1223, 111-116
Asparagus officinalis L., irrigation scheduling, quality class, crop evapotranspiration, crop coefficient, water deficit