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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ORGANIC AND REDUCED INPUT FRESH MARKET SPECIALTY CROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS Title: Irrigation frequency and timing influence pepper yields

Author
item Russo, Vincent

Submitted to: Journal of Crop Improvement
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 27, 2011
Publication Date: October 6, 2011
Citation: Russo, V.M. 2011. Irrigation frequency and timing influence pepper yields. Journal of Crop Improvement. 25(5):540-549.

Interpretive Summary: Nutrition and water are some of the most important inputs of a crop production system. Also, peppers fail to set fruit if air temperatures are too high. Overhead irrigation may be a way to cool plants to improve flower set. The interaction of irrigation and fertilizer level needs to be clarified. Fertilizer was applied at the recommended rate and twice the recommended rate to bell and non-pungent jalapeno peppers in 2009 and 2010. In addition irrigation, 5.1 cm, was applied either once a week or split between two applications in a week and applied at 10 AM or 2 PM. Year affected yield with 2009, the year with more rain fall, with irrigated bell and non-pungent jalapeno peppers having marketable yields that were 2.8- and 1.3-x higher, respectively, than in 2010. Fertilizer applied at twice the recommended rate increased numbers of marketable fruit in irrigated plants but either had no effect on yield (bell peppers) or caused it to be reduced (non-pungent jalapeno peppers). Time of day irrigation was applied did not affect yield. The number of irrigations inconsistently affected yield with 2 irrigations a week producing up to 2.5- and 1.8-x higher yields than bell and non-pungent jalapeno pepper plants irrigated once a week only in 2009. Differences in yield appeared to be due to amounts, and distribution, of precipitation occurring in conjunction with irrigation rather than irrigation alone. Additional research is necessary to determine if irrigation requirements for the area need to be adjusted.

Technical Abstract: Information on how fertilizer and irrigation affect production of vegetables can help growers improve resource use efficiency and profitability. Fertilizer was applied at the recommended rate and twice the recommended rate to bell and non-pungent jalapeno peppers, both Capsicum annuum L., in 2009 and 2010. In addition irrigation, 5.1 cm, was applied either once a week or split between two applications in a week and applied at 10 AM or 2 PM. Year affected yield with 2009, the year with more rain fall, with irrigated bell and non-pungent jalapeno peppers having marketable yields that were 2.8- and 1.3-x higher, respectively, than in 2010. Fertilizer applied at twice the recommended rate increased numbers of marketable fruit in irrigated plants but either had no effect on yield (bell peppers) or caused it to be reduced (non-pungent jalapeno peppers). Time of day irrigation was applied did not affect yield. The number of irrigations inconsistently affected yield with 2 irrigations a week producing up to 2.5- and 1.8-x higher yields than bell and non-pungent jalapeno pepper plants irrigated once a week only in 2009. Differences in yield appeared to be due to amounts, and distribution, of precipitation occurring in conjunction with irrigation rather than irrigation alone. Additional research is necessary to determine if irrigation requirements for the area need to be adjusted.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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