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Effect of Subsurface Drip Irrigation on Processing Tomatoes Yield, Water Table Depth, and Soil Salinity

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  032091,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13774) @2003
Authors:   Blaine Hanson, Don May
Keywords:   Irrigation, processing tomato, salinity, shallow groundwater

This study evaluated the potential of subsurface drip irrigation of processing tomatoes for reducing subsurface drainage and controlling soil salinity, and for increasing farm profits in areas affected by saline, shallow ground water. Subsurface drip irrigation systems were installed in three fields of fine-textured, salt-affected soil along the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. No subsurface drainage systems were installed in these fields. Yield and quality of processing tomato of the drip systems were compared with sprinkler irrigation systems used in the remainder of the fields.

Yield increases of 12.90 Mg/ha to 22.62 Mg/ha were found for the drip systems compared to the sprinkler systems with similar amounts of applied water. Solids content of the drip-irrigated processing tomato were acceptable. Response of water table levels during drip irrigation showed that properly managed drip systems could reduce percolation below the root zone. Yields of the drip systems were similar over a range of soil salinity levels in the soil profile.

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