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Open AccessArticle

Water and Nitrogen Productivity of Potato Growth in Desert Areas under Low-Discharge Drip Irrigation

French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, Midreshet Ben-Gurion 84990, Israel
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Water 2018, 10(8), 970; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10080970
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 21 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management for Sustainable Food Production)
Narrow profit margins, resource conservation issues and environmental concerns are the main driving forces to improve fertilizer uptake, especially for potatoes. Potatoes are a high value crop with a shallow, inefficient root system and high fertilizer rate requirements. Of all essential nutrients, nitrogen (N) is often limiting to potato production. A major concern in potato production is to minimize N leaching from the root zone. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to examine the potato crop characteristics under drip irrigation with low-discharge (0.6 L h−1) and to determine the optimal combination of irrigation (40, 60, 80, and 100%) and fertigation (0, 50, and 100%) doses. In this study, the 80% (438.6 mm) irrigation dose and a 50% (50 mg N L−1) fertigation dose (W80%F50%) showed that these doses are sufficient for optimal potato yield (about 40 ton ha−1) in conjunction with water and fertilizer savings. Moreover, this treatment did not exhibit any qualitative changes in the potato tuber compared to the 100% treatments. When considering water productivity and yield, one may select a harsher irrigation regime if the available agricultural soils are not a limiting factor. Thus, higher yields can be obtained with lower irrigation and fertigation doses and a larger area. View Full-Text
Keywords: water productivity; nitrogen productivity; fertigation; drip irrigation; low-discharge; arid regions water productivity; nitrogen productivity; fertigation; drip irrigation; low-discharge; arid regions
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Trifonov, P.; Lazarovitch, N.; Arye, G. Water and Nitrogen Productivity of Potato Growth in Desert Areas under Low-Discharge Drip Irrigation. Water 2018, 10, 970.

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