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Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10602-10619; doi:10.3390/su70810602

Water Table Control for Increasing Yield and Saving Water in Cranberry Production

Department of Soil and Agri-Food Engineering, Université Laval, 2425 rue de l'Agriculture, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 20 June 2015 / Revised: 22 July 2015 / Accepted: 29 July 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
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Abstract

Water table control has been successfully tested to improve the sustainability of water management in cranberry production. In the province of Québec (Canada), three sites were investigated to determine the optimum water table depth below soil surface (WTD) using three criteria: (1) increasing yield without decreasing fruit quality; (2) minimizing the amount of water needed by the sprinkler system; and (3) avoiding hypoxic stresses in the rhizosphere. Our results show that the final yield, the berry sugar content, the total number of berries, the number of berries per upright, and the fruit set were maximized when the WTD was 60 cm. Sprinkler water savings of 77% were obtained where the WTD was shallower than 66 cm. In order to avoid hypoxic conditions due to poor drainage, the water level in the canals surrounding the beds should be lowered to 80 cm when a rainfall or a frost protection irrigation is anticipated. All sides of a block of beds must be surrounded by canals to ensure a uniform WTD and to avoid lateral hydraulic gradients that could cause peripheral seepage losses. View Full-Text
Keywords: cranberries; water table; subirrigation; drainage; irrigation; yield components; yield quality; sugar content cranberries; water table; subirrigation; drainage; irrigation; yield components; yield quality; sugar content
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pelletier, V.; Gallichand, J.; Gumiere, S.; Pepin, S.; Caron, J. Water Table Control for Increasing Yield and Saving Water in Cranberry Production. Sustainability 2015, 7, 10602-10619.

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