EFFECT OF IRRIGATION REGIMES ON YIELD AND FRUIT COMPOSITION OF PROCESSING PEPPER (CAPSICUM ANNUUM L.)
Irrigation regimes consisted of varying available soil moisture depletion (ASMD) from 10 to 75% in the top 80 cm soil layer. Crop evapotranspiration was measured daily in a drainage lysimeter.
Irrigating pepper at 10–15% ASMD resulted in maximum yield although the differences among 10 and 40% ASMD from 1990 experiment were not significant. Imposing stress up to the first step of fruit growth period reduced yield similar to imposing uniform stress throughout the whole crop cycle. Differences in fruit yields among irrigation regimes were due to significant variations in the number of fruits per plant.
Fruit water use (FWU) slightly increased with increasing irrigation rate. The higher FWU values were reached in the ASMD regimes including two differents water stress periods.
Dry matter, soluble solids, acidity and sugars of harvested fruits increased and pH decreased significantly at 55% compared to 10% ASMD regime. When sugars were referred to fruit dry matter, differences among both regimes were not significants suggesting an effect of solids concentration.
No differences in drained weight, turbidity, texture and color of canned peppers were found among 10 and 55% ASMD regimes. Results showed significantly lower values in the liquor pH at 55% ASMD.