Influence of Rainshelter and Irrigation Method on Yield, Water, and Fertilizer Use Efficiency of Chili Pepper

in HortScience

Chili pepper (Capsicumannuum cv. Delicacy) was grown in single- and double-bed rainshelters and irrigated using furrow and drip irrigation to determine effect on yield and efficiency of water and nutrient application in the lowland tropics of southern Taiwan during the hot wet season. The experiment was laid out using a split-plot design with four replications. The main plots were rainshelters (single, double, open field) and the two irrigation methods (furrow and drip) were the subplots. Grafted chili seedlings were transplanted in double rows on raised beds at row spacing of 80 cm and plant spacing of 50 cm. The furrow-irrigated crop was applied with basal N-P2O5-K2O at the rate of 180–180–180 kg·ha-1 and 240–150–180 kg·ha-1 of N-P2O5-K2O as sidedressing. The drip-irrigated crop received half of the total rate applied for the furrow-irrigated crop. Significant differences (P < 0.05) in marketable yield were observed between rainshelter treatments. Highest yield (42.2 t·ha-1) was produced from the single-bed rainshelter, and crops grown under double-bed rainshelters produced the lowest marketable yield. Irrigation method did not significantly influence marketable yield, but crops grown under drip irrigation produced a higher yield than furrow-irrigated crops. Nutrient uptake by plants grown under drip irrigation was also higher (P < 0.05) than for furrow-irrigated crops. Water use efficiency was 60.7% higher in drip-irrigated plots. Results indicate that in high rainfall vegetable production areas, drip irrigation minimizes nutrient loss through leaching and maximizes efficiency of fertilizer use.

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