Partial root drying: New approach for potato irrigation
Cereal Research Non-Profit Company, Hungary
Drought is one of the most common environmental stresses that may limit agricultural production worldwide. To overcome the drought problems efficiently, an innovative sustainable irrigation technique called Partial Root Drying (PRD) was proposed. PRD is an irrigation technique where half of the root zone is irrigated while the other half is allowed to dry out. The treatment is then reversed, allowing the previously well-watered side of the root system to dry down while fully irrigating the previously dry side. The PRD benefit is in the terms of improved water-use efficiency (IWUE). The aim of presented work was to compare the effects of PRD with full irrigation (FI) on yield of field-grown potato, and to test for effects of PRD on IWUE, tuber yield and quality. The experiments were conducted during 2007 and 2008 seasons. In PRD treatment in 2007 season 70% of the irrigation water in FI was applied to one half of the root system, although in 2008 season PRD was applied dynamically (by replacing 70% PRD with 50% PRD in last two weeks). Irrigation scheduling was based on evapotranspiration and soil water data (measured by TDR). Experimental results for both seasons confirmed that with PRD irrigation it is possible to increase IWUE, save water for irrigation and increase quality of potato tuber (starch content).
potato, PRD, yield, IWUE, starch, sugars