Optimized Water and Fertilizer Management of Mature Jujube in Xinjiang Arid Area Using Drip Irrigation
College of Water and Architectural Engineering, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832000, Xinjiang, China
Key Laboratory of Modern Water-Saving Irrigation of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832000, Xinjiang, China
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(10), 1467; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101467
Received: 7 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Data-Driven Methods for Agricultural Water Management)
Studying water–fertilizer coupling effects in a drip irrigation system is critical for sustainable agricultural development in arid areas, such as that of Xinjiang in China, to find out the optimized water and fertilizer management. Therefore, a two-year field experiment was conducted to find out how the combination of three levels of irrigation quotas and three levels of fertilizer amounts would affect the physiological and growth indexes of jujube, as well as ascertain the differences between drip irrigation and flood irrigation. The results showed that the interacted and coupled effects of irrigation and fertilization influenced most of the physiological indicators and growth indexes. On the other hand, the physiological and growth indexes were increased after transferring flood irrigation to drip irrigation, as the maximum chlorophyll content (CC) and photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE) values increased on average by 6.00%, and 11.39% in 2016, and 1.47% and 6.83% in 2017, respectively. Undoubtedly, inappropriate water and fertilizer management had negative impacts on jujube growth and yield. Based on the treatments and results in this paper, low fertilizer and moderate irrigation would be the best choice. The crop yield, irrigation water use efficiency (iWUE), and fertilizer partial productivity (PFP) increased by 6.77%, 29.48%, and 193.62% in 2016, and similar increments were also found in 2017 of 6.17%, 78.72%, and 133.06%, respectively. This indicated that fertilizer efficiency was promoted along with water use, and in turn, the water amounts were adjusted by the amount of fertilizer that was applied. Based on a comprehensive consideration of the physiological and growth indexes, a mathematical model was established, and the optimized irrigation and fertilizer amounts of jujube in northern Xinjiang area were found to be 815 mm and 400 kg ha−1 (with N–P2O5–K2O proportioned at 2–1–1.5). The results that were obtained in this paper would provide theoretical reference to the sustainable development of jujube plantation using drip irrigation in the arid areas.