Irrigation and Nitrogen Management for Sprinkler-irrigated Cabbage on Sand

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Yuma Agricultural Research Center, University of Arizona, 6425 West 8th Street, Yuma, AZ 85364

Six field studies were conducted from 1980-88 to evaluate the response of cabbage (Brassica oleracea L., Capitata group) to sprinkler irrigation and sprinkler-applied N fertilizer on a coarse-textured soil. The plots were irrigated using a modified self-moving lateral sprinkler irrigation system that applied five levels of water and five levels of N (liquid NH4NO3) in specified combinations of central composite rotatable design. Cabbage yields were significantly increased by water and N applications in all experiments. The N rates predicted for maximum yield exceeded typical cabbage N fertilizer recommendations. However, the above-average plant populations used in these studies resulted in above-average yields and plant N accumulation. Deficit and excess irrigation produced negative results. Generally, cabbage production was optimized and N losses to the environment were minimized when crops were irrigated for evapotranspiration (ET) replacement. However, even when irrigated for ET replacement, these data demonstrate the potential for N leaching at high N rates, presumably as a result of rainfall.

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