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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Improving Management Practices for Irrigated Western Cropping and Dairy Systems to Contribute to Sustainability and Improve Air Quality

Location: Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research

Title: Effects of tillage and irrigation management on sugarbeet production

Author
item Tarkalson, David
item King, Bradley - Brad

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/29/2017
Publication Date: 7/13/2017
Citation: Tarkalson, D.D., King, B.A. 2017. Effects of tillage and irrigation management on sugarbeet production. Agronomy Journal. 109(5):2396-2406. doi:10.2134/agronj2016.09.0530.

Interpretive Summary: Increased water demands and drought have resulted in a need to determine the impact of tillage and deficit water management practices in irrigated sugarbeet production. This study was conducted over three growing seasons (2012, 2013, and 2015) at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory in Kimberly, ID. The effects of various water input amounts (approximately 100, 75, 50 and 25 percent of estimated crop need) on sugarbeet production under strip and conventional tillage practices. Estimated recoverable sucrose yield, root yield, sucrose concentration and brei nitrate concentration were the same for ST and CT across all water input levels. However, there was a significant tillage by water interaction for root yield in 2012. Water input had significant effects on ERS and root yields. In general, as water input increased, ERS and root yields increased. Estimated recoverable sucrose and root yields in 2012, 2013, and 2015 were maximized at the water use rates of 75, 97 and 58 percent of the estimated full water requirement, respectively. Data from this study supports the use of ST in sugarbeet production at various water input rates ranging from full irrigation to deficit irrigation. This support is based on equal yield potential with CT, tillage cost savings compared to CT, and agronomic and environmental benefits associated with increased soil surface residue.

Technical Abstract: Increased water demands and drought have resulted in a need to determine the impact of tillage and deficit water management practices in irrigated sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.) production. This study was conducted over three growing seasons (2012, 2013, and 2015) at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory in Kimberly, ID on a Portneuf silt loam soil. Treatments consisted of two tillage treatments (strip tillage [ST] and conventional tillage [CT]) and four water input treatments (approximately 100, 75, 50 and 25 percent of estimated crop ET [ETd]) using a linear move irrigation system. Estimated recoverable sucrose (ERS) yield, root yield, sucrose concentration and brei nitrate concentration were statistically the same for ST and CT across all water input levels. However, there was a significant tillage by water interaction for root yield in 2012. The significant interaction was a result of ST at the W3 (approx. 57 percent ETd) water input level having a higher root yield (72 Mg/ha) compared to the CT treatment (63 Mg/ha). Water input had significant effects on ERS and root yields. In general, as water input increased, ERS and root yields increased. Estimated recoverable sucrose and root yields in 2012, 2013, and 2015 were maximized at the ETd rates of 75, 97 and 58 percent, respectively. Data from this study supports the use of ST in sugarbeet production at various water input rates ranging from full irrigation to deficit irrigation. This support is based on equal yield potential with CT, tillage cost savings compared to CT, and agronomic and environmental benefits associated with increased soil surface residue.

Last Modified: 09/24/2017
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