(214) Adult Pear Response to Integrated Nitrogen Fertigation and Drip Irrigation System

in HortScience

Responses of adult pear to the integrated N fertigation and drip irrigation system have not been documented in Oregon. A field trial was conducted on adult pear at the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Hood River, Ore., in 2005. Two N and water management systems (integrated N fertigation and drip irrigation system; and broadcast application of dry N fertilizer to the soil surface and microsprinkler irrigation system) were compared on pear cultivars of Bartlett and Golden Russet Bosc, and rootstocks of OH×F97 and OH×F87. The responses of these cultivars and rootstocks to the integrated N fertigation and drip irrigation system were similar. The integrated N fertigation and drip irrigation system consumed 1450 m3·ha-1 of irrigation water during the entire season from May to September, reducing irrigation water use by 73% compared with 5297 m3·ha-1 under the current system—broadcast application of dry N fertilizer to the soil surface and microsprinkler irrigation system averaged over the four cultivar and rootstock combinations. The fruit yield was statistically similar for the integrated N fertigation and drip irrigation system and the broadcast application of dry N fertilizer and microsprinkler irrigation system on the average of the four cultivars and rootstocks. Differences in fruit size and color were negligible between the two N and irrigation management systems. Overall, our results suggest that adopting the integrated N fertigation and drip irrigation system does not cause significant reduction in yield or quality of adult pear; the integrated N fertigation and drip irrigation system could be a profitable and environmentally sound management alternative for pear production.

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