RESPONSES OF NECTARINE TO REGULATED DEFICIT IRRIGATION AT THE FIELD SCALE
Irrigated agriculture is the primary user of water worldwide. Any method that reduces the consumption of water in irrigated agriculture without a reduction in yield and fruit quality would be highly desirable. One of the approaches currently being implemented in fruit trees and vines is regulated deficit irrigation (RDI). It consists of the application of water below the full crop-water requirements during periods of crop growth that are less sensitive to water deficit, which is a viable strategy during periods of water shortage. The results of on-farm experiments indicated that RDI based on stem water potential can be used successfully on nectarine trees in the area of Córdoba (Southern Spain) in deep soils. This strategy reduced the amount of irrigation water without reducing yield or crop value. One of the main limitations to the application of RDI to commercial orchards is the need of plant water status indicators like water potential. But to measure the latter is time consuming and therefore the number of trees that can be monitored continuously is a limiting factor. New tools should be developed for the early detection of water stress and one such tool is the high spatial resolution thermal remote sensing imagery.
González-Dugo, V., Suárez, L., Ruz, C., Berni, J.A.J., Zarco-Tejada, P.J., Soriano, M.A. and Fereres, E. (2012). RESPONSES OF NECTARINE TO REGULATED DEFICIT IRRIGATION AT THE FIELD SCALE. Acta Hortic. 962, 349-353
water stress, irrigation scheduling, yield, fruit quality, thermal imagery