Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist James E. Ayars at the San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center in Parlier, Calif., has found a way to reduce the amount of water given post-harvest to early-season peaches so that the reduction has a minimal effect on yield and fruit quality. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and the research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.
The valley has about 25,000 acres of peach orchards that must be irrigated throughout the summer. Early-season peaches are normally harvested in May, but require most of their water from June through September, a time when temperatures and demands for water are at their highest. Snow packs in the Sierra Nevada have traditionally been a sufficient water source for growers, but earlier snowmelts have made water more precious with each summer. Wells that supply the valley have had to reach deeper to meet increasing demands.
Ayars and ARS scientist Dong Wang, also based at Parlier, irrigated a 4-acre plot of early-season peach trees from March to the May harvest. From June to September, they gave the trees either 25 percent of the amount of water they'd normally receive, 50 percent of the normal amount, or 100 percent. The scientists measured soil water content once a week to be sure that even with periodic rainfall, trees were given appropriate deficit-irrigation treatments. They also used three types of irrigation systems: microspray, subsurface drip irrigation, and furrow irrigation, in which water is distributed in shallow canal-like rows near the trees. Defective fruit were counted and removed after each harvest.
The results showed that reducing post-harvest irrigation levels to 25 percent of the normal amount had negative effects on yield and fruit quality, but that giving 50 percent less water than normal had minimal effects on the following year's quality and yield. The subsurface drip irrigation systems tended to have the lowest yields within a given year, but differences were generally not statistically significant. The researchers also found that trees needed less pruning and maintenance because the deficit irrigation slowed plant growth.
The results of this study have been submitted to the scientific journal HortScience for publication.
Read more about this research in the November/December 2012 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
Dennis O'Brien | EurekAlert!
Faba fix for corn's nitrogen need
11.04.2018 | American Society of Agronomy
Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops
09.04.2018 | John Innes Centre
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy