APRICOT TREE CULTURE UNDER DIFFERENT SOIL TILLAGE PRACTICES
The aim of this work was to determine the effects of three soil tillage practices that avoid runoff, in order to increase rainfall and irrigation water use efficiency in a drip-irrigated apricot plantation (Prunus armeniaca L. Búlida), under the Mediterranean semi-arid conditions of the region of Murcia (Spain). Three soil tillage treatments were practiced between rows: control (non-tillage), following the common practice in the area; a mechanical perforation (P) treatment; and the mini-catchments (M) treatment. No organic amendments were added to the soil. Both tillage treatments increased water infiltration in the soil surface, as indicated by the significantly higher values of hydraulic conductivity and sorptivity with respect to the control treatment. The runoff recorded was reduced in both tillage treatments. The mini-catchments treatment was performed in an attempt to reduce the rainwater running down the slope, leaving the accumulated water near plant roots. The perforation treatment facilitated infiltration during rainfall. Both soil tillage treatments reduced runoff and improved infiltration, avoiding the soil losses: this is beneficial for irrigation water management, because almost all the rainfall is made available to the plants. The micro-catchments and mechanical perforation soil tillage practices were able to catch 86 and 57% of rain, respectively, saving about 10% irrigation water, with respect to the control. Yield and vegetative growth were similar in the three treatments with no significant differences during the three-year experimental period.
Abrisqueta, J.M., Plana, V., Brito, J.J. and Mounzer, O. (2006). APRICOT TREE CULTURE UNDER DIFFERENT SOIL TILLAGE PRACTICES. Acta Hortic. 717, 295-298
Prunus armeniaca L., runoff, rainfall, rainwater harvesting, soil tillage