Tomatoes ( Solanum lycopersicon L.) are grown on nearly 20,000 ha in central and south Florida using subsurface irrigation, polyethylene mulch, and transplants ( NASS, 2009 ). Subsurface irrigation (“seepage irrigation”) consists of managing a
Monica Ozores-Hampton, Eric Simonne, Fritz Roka, Kelly Morgan, Steven Sargent, Crystal Snodgrass, and Eugene McAvoy
Salvadore J. Locascio
Vegetables are grown throughout the U.S. on various soil types and in various climates. Irrigation is essential to supplement rainfall in all areas to minimize plant water stress. In the U.S., irrigated vegetable production accounts for about 1.9 million ha or 7.5% of the irrigated area. California, Florida, Idaho, Washington, Texas, Nebraska, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Arizona account for 80% of the U.S. production of irrigated vegetables. In the U.S., surface and subsurface (seepage) irrigation systems were used initially and are currently used on 45% of all irrigated crops with a water use efficiency of 33%. Sprinkler or overhead irrigation systems were developed in the 1940s and are currently used extensively throughout the vegetable industry. Sprinkler systems are used on 50% of the irrigated crop land and have a water use efficiency of 75%. In the late 1960s, microirrigation (drip or trickle) systems were developed and have slowly replaced many of the sprinkler and some of the seepage systems. Microirrigation is currently used on 5% of irrigated crops. This highly efficient water system (90% to 95%) is widely used on high value vegetables, particularly polyethylene-mulched tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), pepper (Capsicum annuum), eggplant (Solanum melongena), strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa), and cucurbits. Some advantages of drip irrigation over sprinkler include reduced water use, ability to apply fertilizer with the irrigation, precise water distribution, reduced foliar diseases, and the ability to electronically schedule irrigation on large areas with relatively smaller pumps. Drip systems also can be used as subsurface drip systems placed at a depth of 60 to 90 cm. These systems are managed to control the water table, similar to that accomplished with subsurface irrigation systems, but with much greater water use efficiency. Future irrigation concerns include continued availability of water for agriculture, management of nutrients to minimize leaching, and continued development of cultural practices that maximize crop production and water use efficiency.
G.G. Goyette and W.G. Pill
Ken Tilt, William D. Goff, David Williams, Ronald L. Shumack, and John W. Olive
Pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch `Melrose'] and pear (Pyrus calleryana Decne. `Bradford') trees in the nursery grew more in containers designed to hold water in the lower portion. The water-holding reservoir was obtained either by placing 76-liter containers in a frame holding water to a depth of 6 cm or by using containers with drainage holes 6 cm from the bottom. Continuous waterlogging at the bottom of containers resulted in root pruning and root death in the lower portion of the containers, but roots grew well above the constantly wet zone. Fresh weight of plant tops and trunk diameters were greater after two growing seasons in the containers with water reservoirs compared to those grown in similar containers with no water reservoirs. Total root dry weight was unaffected.
Matthew W. Kent and David Wm. Reed
Greenhouse cultural methods must minimize runoff to keep pace with environmental regulation aimed at protecting water resources. Two experiments were designed to investigate the effect of N fertilization rate on New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens ×hawkeri) and peace lily (Spathiphyllum Schott) in an ebb-and-flow subirrigation system. Maximum growth response for impatiens was centered around 8 mm N levels as measured by root and shoot fresh and dry weight, height, leaf number, leaf area, and chlorophyll concentration. For peace lily, growth peaked at about 10 mm N. Growing medium was divided into three equal layers: top, middle, and bottom. Root distribution favored the middle and bottom layers, and the relative distribution of roots was consistent as N level increased. EC remained low in middle and bottom layers at N concentrations below 10 mm, but increased significantly for all layers at levels above 10 mm. The EC for the top layer was 2 to 5 times higher than in the middle or bottom layers at all N levels. Increased nitrate concentration paralleled increased EC, while pH decreased as N concentration increased for impatiens and peace lily.
C.M. Hutchinson, J.M. White, K.G. Haynes, D.M. Gergela, P.A. Solano, and C.S. Lippi
Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is an important agricultural crop for Florida. From 1996 to 2000, the winter and spring potato crop was grown on an average of 15,782.7 ha (39,000 acres) and valued at $117 million. Variety evaluation and selection is an important tool to improve production efficiency and increase the competitiveness of Florida growers. A red-skinned potato variety evaluation was conducted in northeastern Florida in 2002. The experimental design was a 4 (site) × 5 (variety) factorial with four replications at each site. The four sites were the University of Florida's Plant Science Research and Extension Unit and three local commercial farms. Potato varieties in the trial were `Red LaSoda', `LaRouge', B0984-1, B1145-2, and B1758-3. Marketable tuber yields were 36.3, 35.6, 30.2, 20.3, and 21.4 t·ha-1 (324, 318, 269, 181, and 191 cwt/acre) respectively, with tuber yields of the two named varieties significantly higher than the numbered entries. Specific gravity ranged from 1.060 (`Red LaSoda') to 1.070 (B0984-1). There were no significant differences among entries for total cull weight or the incidence of hollow heart, brown rot, or corky ringspot. However, a higher percentage of B0984-1 tubers showed symptoms of internal heat necrosis than all other varieties. Potato varieties ranked from lowest to highest in overall appearance were `LaRouge', `Red LaSoda', B1758-3, B0984-1, and B1145-2. Higher appearance ratings in the numbered entries were attributed to darkerred skin color, rounder tuber shape, and shallower eyes compared to `Red LaSoda' and `LaRouge'. `Red LaSoda' and `LaRouge' will continue to be recommended as the standard redskinned potato varieties for Florida. However, B0984-1 and B1145-2 had desirable characteristics and should be planted in larger plantings to further evaluate quality and production characteristics.
C.M. Hutchinson, J.M. White, D.M. Gergela, P.A. Solano, K.G. Haynes, R. Wenrich, and C.S. Lippi
Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is a high value crop in Florida. It consistently ranks in the top five valued vegetable crops produced in the state. The identification of new potato varieties that improve production efficiency is an imperative because of constantly evolving market and production demands. A chip potato variety evaluation experiment was conducted in northeast Florida in 2002 to compare the production characteristics of industry standards to advanced selections. The potato varieties evaluated in this experiment were bred specifically for processing by the potato chip industry. The experimental design was a four (site) by five (variety) factorial with four replications at each site. The sites were the University of Florida's research farm in Hastings, FL and three commercial farms in the surrounding area. Potato varieties were two seed sources of `Atlantic', as well as, `Snowden', B0564-8, and B0766-3. Marketable yield for each variety was 39.4, 33.4, 38.4, 33.6, and 33.6 t·ha-1 (351, 298, 343, 300, and 300 cwt/acre), respectively. Total yield of B0564-8 was statistically equivalent to an `Atlantic' standard at all four locations and similar to `Snowden' at three of four locations. Specific gravity of B0564-8 and B0766-3 was significantly lower than that of `Atlantic' from both sources but within acceptable range for chip potatoes. B0564-8 tubers had the highest overall appearance ratings and the most consistent size and shape. B0564-8 and B0766-3 tubers had a significantly lower percentage of hollow heart and internal heat necrosis than `Atlantic' tubers. This resulted in overall better chip ratings for the numbered entries compared to `Atlantic' tubers. A potential fit for B0564-8 and B0766-3 in northeastern Florida production may be as a late season chip variety when the potential for the development of internal heat necrosis increases.
Bielinski M. Santos
polyethylene-mulched beds and irrigated with seepage alone or a combination of seepage and drip irrigation ( Olson et al., 2006 ; Simonne, 2004 ). Seepage irrigation, often called subsurface irrigation, is a common method in the muck and sandy soils of
Michael D. Dukes, Lincoln Zotarelli, and Kelly T. Morgan
microirrigation, trickle irrigation, or drip irrigation), sprinkler, surface (also known as gravity or flood irrigation), and subirrigation or seepage irrigation (a variation on subsurface irrigation or water table control in other parts of the United States
Gregory S. Hendricks, Sanjay Shukla, Kent E. Cushman, Thomas A. Obreza, Fritz M. Roka, Kenneth M. Portier, and Eugene J. McAvoy
), recommended rate (RR), and recommended rate with subsurface irrigation (RR-S). The HR fertilizer rate, based on the results of a grower survey, was 265, 74, and 381 lb/acre N, P, and K, respectively, and the moisture level was held in the range of 16% to 20