Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: METABOLOMIC AND MICROBIAL PROFILING OF TROPICAL/SUBTROPICAL FRUITS AND SMALL FRUITS FOR QUALITY FACTORS AND MICROBIAL STABILITY

Location: Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research

Title: Transitional Effects of Double-Lateral Drip Irrigation and Straw Mulch on Irrigation Water Consumption, Mineral Nutrition, Yield, and Storability of Sweet Cherry

Authors
item Yin, Xinhua -
item Long, Lynn -
item Huang, Xiao-Lan -
item Jaja, Ngowari -
item BAI, JINHE
item Seavert, Clark -
item Roux, J -

Submitted to: HortTechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 22, 2012
Publication Date: August 1, 2012
Citation: Yin, X., Long, L., Huang, X., Jaja, N., Bai, J., Seavert, C., Roux, J. 2012. Transitional Effects of Double-Lateral Drip Irrigation and Straw Mulch on Irrigation Water Consumption, Mineral Nutrition, Yield, and Storability of Sweet Cherry. HortTechnology. 22(4):484-492.

Interpretive Summary: Double-lateral drip irrigation reduced annual irrigation water consumption by 47.6 to 58.2% on sweet cherry was compared with the traditional micro sprinkler irrigation (MS) during a 3-year period. Straw mulch lowered irrigation water use by 9.7% on average relative to no ground cover with herbicide control of weeds (NC). Fruit yields or quality of firmness, size, and sugar at harvest were not affected by double-lateral drip irrigation (DD) relative to MS. Straw mulch (ST) increased fruit size by 0.6 mm on average relative to NC, which could result in increases in grower profitability. Double-lateral drip irrigation increased the percentage of marketable fruit by 8.6% relative to MS. Leaf P, B, Zn, and Fe concentrations were reduced with DD over MS. Switching from MS to DD can substantially reduce irrigation water use while maintaining comparable productivity of sweet cherry but long term fertility needs might be different than for MS. Straw mulch had significant impacts on soil protozoa; decreasing flagellates and amoebae but slightly increasing ciliates. Straw mulch resulted in a soil microbial community with remarkably less protozoa. Overall, DD is a viable alternate irrigation system for already established producing sweet cherry orchards with limited water resources for irrigation. Shifting from NC to ST can reduce irrigation water use in addition to increasing protection of soil from erosion.

Technical Abstract: A field trial was conducted on a Cherryhill silt loam soil at The Dalles, OR from 2006 through 2008. The impacts of switching from the traditional micro sprinkler irrigation (MS) to double-lateral drip irrigation (DD) and from no ground cover with herbicide control of weeds (NC) to in-row wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) straw mulching (ST) were evaluated in a split-plot design with four replicates. Irrigation water use, mineral nutrition, and productivity of sweet cherry trees (Prunus avium L., v. Lapins/Mazzard) and soil quality were measured on a plot basis. Double-lateral drip irrigation reduced irrigation water consumption by 47.6% to 58.2% compared with MS. Straw mulch lowered irrigation water use by 9.7% relative to NC. Total fruit yield and fruit quality of firmness, size, and sugar at harvest were similar for the irrigation treatments. Straw mulch increased fruit size by 0.6 mm on average relative to NC, which could result in increased grower profitability. The DD system enhanced percentage of marketable fruit by 8.6% relative to MS. Leaf phosphorus (P), boron (B), zinc (Zn), and iron (Fe) concentrations were reduced with DD over MS, consequently more P, B, Zn, and Fe fertilizers might be needed under DD. Straw mulch markedly decreased the populations of flagellates and amoebae but slightly increased the population of ciliates. Straw mulch resulted in a soil microbial community with remarkably less protozoa. Overall, DD is a viable alternate irrigation system for producing sweet cherry orchards with limited water resources for irrigation. Switching from NC to ST could lower irrigation water use, reduce herbicide runoff, and protect soil from erosion.

Last Modified: 8/19/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page