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Influence of Drip Irrigation and Nitrogen Rates on Strawberry Cultivars Bielinski M. Santos, Gulf Coast REC John R. Duval, Gulf Coast REC Eric H. Simonne, Horticultural Sciences Dept. Elizabeth A. Golden, Gulf Coast REC Alicia J. Whidden, Hillsborough Co. Extension Serv. Florida Vegetables Acres US$M 42,400 501 18,500 218 7,100 178 Source: USDA, 2005 Introduction Efficient water use in agriculture is becoming increasingly important. Competition between urban population and growing fields. Introduction Proper irrigation schedules and volumes are needed for optimal crop growth. Plastic mulch and drip irrigation have helped to decrease water use. Introduction Irrigation management remains a misunderstood aspect of production. Over-irrigation may increase: Nutrient leaching & soil erosion. Fuel/electricity costs. Disease/weed pressure. Crop losses. Introduction Nitrogen (N) is applied through drip irrigation in strawberry fields. Current recommendations: Drip irrigation: 100 gal/100 ft/week. N application: 0.6 lb/acre/day. Introduction Growers use diverse irrigation/fertilization programs. Irrigation frequencies (up to 5 times/day). N rates (1-2 lb/acre/day). Strawberry cultivars may have different requirements. More accurate recommendations are needed. Objective Determine the effect of irrigation and N rates on different strawberry cultivars. Materials and Methods Three trials (fall 2003-05). Gulf Coast REC (Dover & Balm). Materials and Methods Irrigation rates: 60, 80, 100 & 120% IFAS recommendation. N rates: 2003-04: 60, 80 & 100% IFAS recomm. 2005: 60, 100 & 140% IFAS recomm. Strawberry cultivars: ‘Winter Dawn’, ‘Strawberry Festival’ & ‘Ventana’. Materials and Methods Marketable yield. Split-split plot design. Four replications. Regression analysis & orthogonal contrasts. WD SF V 20 2003 Season c a b e o k a ei dt a e Ma r e t b l y l ( n / c r ) 10 c b a a a b b b a a c b 0 De c a Jn Feb Ma r Tot l a Interactions: NS N & I main effects: NS Mo n t s h De c a Jn Feb Ma r 5 ‘Strawberry Festival’ 2004 Season 4 e o a e k a ei dt Ma r e t b l y l ( n / c r ) 3 2 1 0 60 80 1 00 Nit g e n r t ( I AS r c o me n d a t n ) o r a e %F e m io De c a Jn Feb 5 4 e o ak a ei dt a e M r et bl y l ( n/ c r ) ‘Strawberry Festival’ 2005 Season 3 2 1 0 60 100 Nit gen r t ( I ASr c omendat n) o r a e %F e m io 140 Summary Inconsistent results over time. No differences among irrigation rates: Exploring irrigation frequencies??? N rates had an effect depending on cultivar: ‘Strawberry Festival’ increased with rate. Future research will focus on fertilization and irrigation programs. Thank you!
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