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Deficit Drip Irrigation in Processing Tomato Production in the Mediterranean Basin. A Data Analysis for Italy

Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CREA-AA), 00184 Rome, Italy
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Agriculture 2019, 9(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9040079
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Irrigation)
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Abstract

In this study, the effects of deficit irrigation (DI) on crop yields and irrigation water utilization efficiency (IWUE) of processing tomato are contrasting. This study aimed at analyzing a set of field experiments with drip irrigation available for Mediterranean Italy in terms of marketable yields and IWUE under DI. Both yields and IWUE were compared with the control treatment under full irrigation, receiving the maximum water restoration (MWR) in each experiment. The study also aimed at testing the effect of climate (aridity index) and soil parameters (texture). Main results indicated that yields would marginally decrease at 70–80% of MWR and variable irrigation regimes during the crop cycle resulted in higher crop yields. However, results were quite variable and site-dependent. In fact, DI proved more effective in fine textured soils and semiarid climates. We recommend that further research should address variable irrigation regimes and soil and climate conditions that proved more unfavorable in terms of crop response to DI. View Full-Text
Keywords: deficit irrigation; Mediterranean region; tomato fruit yield; irrigation water use efficiency deficit irrigation; Mediterranean region; tomato fruit yield; irrigation water use efficiency
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Francaviglia, R.; Di Bene, C. Deficit Drip Irrigation in Processing Tomato Production in the Mediterranean Basin. A Data Analysis for Italy. Agriculture 2019, 9, 79.

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