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James E. Brown, Daniel W. Porch, Ronald L. Shumack, Charles H. Gilliam and Larry Curtis

In sweet corn field plots in Alabama, urea-ammonia nitrogen was applied to the soil through underground and aboveground drip fertigation systems. Dry nitrogen in the form of ammonium nitrate was surface band-applied as a control. Nitrogen rates of 67 kg/ha and 135 kg/ha were applied in either 2 or 4 applications by each of the 3 methods. P and K fertilizers were applied to all treatments in a dry form according to soil test recommendations. The underground drip pipe was placed 23 cm beneath the soil surface in each row. Nitrogen (wet or dry) rate of 135 kg/ha produced greater sweet corn yield than the 67 kg/ha rate with no effect of application number on yield in 1988, when rainfall was less than adequate. In 1987 and 1989, when rainfall was adequate, no differences occurred in yields regardless of number, rate, or method of application of nitrogen.

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Valdinar Ferreira Melo, Edvan Alves Chagas, Raphael Henrique da Silva Siqueira, Olisson Mesquita de Souza, Luís Felipe Paes de Almeida, Diogo Francisco Rossoni, Pollyana Cardoso Chagas and Carlos Abanto-Rodríguez

effect of different N and K doses applied via drip fertigation on the root distribution of camu-camu plants. The data were analyzed using nondestructive roots images obtained from trenches under the plant canopy. Materials and Methods Our research was

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R.E. Worley, J.W. Daniel, J.D. Dutcher, K.A. Harrison and B.G. Mullinix

No reduction in yield and quality of pecan nuts or leaf mineral nutrient concentration occurred when 100 lb/acre of N was applied through a drip-irrigation system compared with 200 lb/acre applied either all broadcast or half broadcast and half fertigated. Yield of `Stuart', percentage kernel of `Schley', and nut size of both cultivars were increased by irrigation or irrigation and fertigation. The 100 lb/acre N-all-fertigated treatment resulted in less soil pH reduction and less loss of K, Ca, and Mg from soil underneath the tree canopy than broadcast treatments. No evidence of excessive soil pH reduction in the wetted zone of fertigated trees was noticed. Calcium and Mg were higher within than outside the wetted zone.

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Wayne L. Schrader

California vegetable and strawberry growers are expecting legislation which will limit their use of fertilizers and water by crop, acreage, and season. An increasing number of growers are adopting drip irrigation, which affords the opportunity for more precise control of water and nitrogen nutrition. Many growers, however, lack the skills and time necessary to manage and monitor water and fertilizer applications effectively in drip irrigation. Consequently, the need for quick, easy, and reliable methods to manage nitrogen fertility with drip irrigation has increased. Two trials were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of granular controlled release nitrogen fertilizers in fields where excessive water use had been eliminated by using tensiometers and ET data to manage irrigations. A range of management options for maximizing yield and quality in vegetable and strawberry production with reduced nitrogen and water inputs will be discussed.

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G.H. Neilsen, E.J. Hogue, T. Forge and D. Neilsen

`Spartan' apple (Malus×domestica Borkh.) trees on M.9 (T337) rootstock were planted in April 1994 at 1.25 m × 3.5 m spacing. Seven soil management treatments were applied within a 2-m-wide strip centered on the tree row and arranged in a randomized complete-block experimental design. Treatments included a weed-free strip (check) maintained with four annual applications of glyphosate; surface application of 45 t·ha-1 of Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) biosolids applied in 1994 and again in 1997; mulches of shredded office paper; alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) hay; black woven polypropylene; and shredded paper applied over 45 t·ha-1 GVRD-and Kelowna-biosolids applied in 1994 and 1997. All experimental trees were fertigated with phosphorus (P) in the first year and with nitrogen (N) annually. Cumulative yield for the first five harvests was higher for trees subjected to any soil management treatment relative to check trees. Maximum cumulative yield, exceeding check trees by 80%, was measured for trees grown with a shredded paper mulch with or without biosolids application. Trees from the three shredded paper treatments were the only ones significantly larger than check trees after six growing seasons. No increases in leaf nutrient concentration were consistently as sociated with improved tree performance. Notable effects included increased leaf P concentration associated with biosolids application, increased leaf K concentration after alfalfa mulch application and temporary increases in leaf Zn and Cu concentration associated with application of biosolids high in Zn and Cu. Use of both mulches and biosolids amendments benefits growth of trees in high density plantings despite daily drip irrigation and annual fertigation.

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Matthew D. Stevens, Brent L. Black, John D. Lea-Cox, Ali M. Sadeghi, Jennifer Harman-Fetcho, Emy Pfeil, Peter Downey, Randy Rowland and Cathleen J. Hapeman

the AMR and CCP plots used drip fertigation, which is buried several centimeters below the soil surface and had significantly higher N uptake efficiencies and lower N in the runoff compared with the CMR plots where the fertilizer was broadcast. In

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Gerry H. Neilsen, Denise Neilsen, Peter Toivonen and Linda Herbert

apple P demand may peak at a time of intense cell division and meristematic activity as might occur in spring when simultaneous strong fruit, root, and shoot growth occurs. Drip fertigation has improved the availability of P to apple trees ( Neilsen et

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D. C. Sanders, J. R. Schultheis, P.P. David and M. R. McMurtry

We evaluated high plant population of watermelons when grown on black plastic with drip fertigation. We grew watermelons in 1.5m or 1.8 m centered rows, with one or two plants per hill, at spacing from 0.45 to 1.5 m in-row. Single plants constantly out yielded 2 plant hills and produced bigger melons. Large (over 9 kg) melon yields were not different at in-row spacing of 0.6 m and greater. However, the 5.4-9kg melons “pee wees” produced more yield as in-row spacing decreased. Thus total marketable melon yields increased as in-row spacing decreased to 0.45 m up to 21,000 melons and 135 T/ha. Plastic increased yield 2 to 4 times depending on the spacing. If small watermelons can be sold, single plants at 0.45m spacing provided the greatest return for the plastic-drip-fertigation system.

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D. C. Sanders, J. R. Schultheis, P.P. David and M. R. McMurtry

We evaluated high plant population of watermelons when grown on black plastic with drip fertigation. We grew watermelons in 1.5m or 1.8 m centered rows, with one or two plants per hill, at spacing from 0.45 to 1.5 m in-row. Single plants constantly out yielded 2 plant hills and produced bigger melons. Large (over 9 kg) melon yields were not different at in-row spacing of 0.6 m and greater. However, the 5.4-9kg melons “pee wees” produced more yield as in-row spacing decreased. Thus total marketable melon yields increased as in-row spacing decreased to 0.45 m up to 21,000 melons and 135 T/ha. Plastic increased yield 2 to 4 times depending on the spacing. If small watermelons can be sold, single plants at 0.45m spacing provided the greatest return for the plastic-drip-fertigation system.

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W.H. Tietien, P. Nitzsche and W.P. Cowgill Jr.

Environmental concerns about nitrate contamination of groundwater have prompted renewed interest in optimizing fertilizer rates. A field study was initiated to study the influence of preplant and drip fertigation rates of nitrogen on the yield of hell peppers grown on Quakertown (QkB) silt loam soil. Preplant nitrogen rates of 0, 56.7, and 113.5 kgha were incorporated into the plots before transplanting. The three fertigation rates (0, 17 and 34 Kg/mulched hectare) were injected through the drip irrigation starting one week after transplanting and repeated at three week intervals.

Proplant nitrogen applications variably influenced early pepper yield. and did not significantly influence total yield. Early pepper yield was not influenced by drip fertigation rate, however, total yield increased as the fertigation rate increased. The dry weather conditions of the 1993 growing season may have influenced the responsc of pepper yield to the fertilizer treatments. Further studies are required to determine the optimum fertilization program for bell peppers grown under Northern New Jersey's edaphic conditions.