GROWTH AND YIELD OF MATURE CITRUS CONVERTED TO PRESSURIZED IRRIGATION SYSTEMS

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  • 1 University of Arizona

A study was conducted during four seasons to evaluate the performance of mature `Valencia' oranges converted to pressurized irrigation systems. Trickle, bubbler, spray, and sprinkler systems were all compared to the traditional flood-border irrigation. During the second year after conversion, trees irrigated by flood grew significantly more than trees irrigated by any of the pressurized systems. However, there were no differences in tree growth during the third and forth year, suggesting that the trees adapted to the new irrigation systems. Effects of irrigation treatments on leaf concentrations of N, P, Fe, Zn, Mn, and Cu were minimal. There were significant differences in orange yields among the irrigation treatments within years. However, average or total yields over the four year period did not vary by irrigation treatments. Similarly, there were no consistent differences in fruit or juice quality. Overall, results from this study indicate the mature citrus can be converted to pressurized irrigation systems with minimal effects on fruit yield and quality.

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