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  • Author or Editor: R.J. Roseberg x
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C. Chen, R.J. Roseberg, D. Sugar and J.S. Selker

A study was undertaken to determine if microsprinkler irrigation (MI) can provide sufficient water and produce similar yield and quality of pear (Pyrus communis L.) fruit as flood irrigation (FI) in a cracking (shrinking-swelling) clay soil. Soil water content and fruit quality attributes were measured under MI and FI in 2 years. Water potential of the upper 120 cm (47 inches) of soil was maintained at 0.1 to 0.3 MPa (14.5 to 43.5 lb/inch2) through most of the growing season in both MI and FI treatments. MI and FI treatments did not differ in their effect on fruit size, yield, or firmness decline during cold storage. No consistent effect on fruit susceptibility postharvest fungal decay related to irrigation treatment was observed. MI has the potential to reduce chemical and water movement to groundwater, while providing sufficient water to produce satisfactory yield and fruit quality in a cracking clay soil.