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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Vegetable production after heavy rains

Author
item Russo, Vincent

Submitted to: Proceedings of Horticultural Industry Show
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 4, 2008
Publication Date: March 24, 2008
Citation: Russo, V.M. 2008. Vegetable production after heavy rains. In: Proceedings of the 27th Annual Horticultural Industries Show. January 4-5, 2008, Tulsa, Oklahoma. p. 230-232.

Interpretive Summary: The region received above normal precipitation during the spring and much of the summer. An opportunity was recognized where it would be possible to determine if the precipitation stored in the soil was sufficient to support crops planted with an expectation of a late-summer harvest. Cucumber and sweet corn were established from seed and non-pungent jalapeno peppers were established from 8-week old transplants on beds. Half of the beds were irrigated based on soil moisture levels, irrigated at below 50% soil moisture, and the other half were irrigated on a schedule. Soil moisture decreased from highs of better than 70% to lows around 40% for soil irrigated on a schedule and soil irrigated based on soil moisture. Yields of plants irrigated on a schedule were higher than for plants irrigated based on soil moisture level for all crops. The results indicated that scheduled irrigation is needed even if precipitation levels prior to establishment of plants were extraordinary.

Technical Abstract: It is not clear if extraordinary precipitation stored in the soil was able to support vegetable crops planted after rains events returned to normal levels. Cucumber and sweet corn were established from seed and non-pungent jalapeno peppers were established from 8-week old transplants on beds. Half of the beds were irrigated based on soil moisture levels, irrigated at below 50% soil moisture, and the other half were irrigated on a schedule. Soil moisture decreased from highs of better than 70% to lows around 40% for soil irrigated on a schedule and soil irrigated based on soil moisture. Yields of plants irrigated on a schedule were higher than for plants irrigated based on soil moisture level for all crops. If producers rely on precipitation stored in the soil after above normal precipitation it does not appear that yields will be at levels of those for plants receiving scheduled irrigation.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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