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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Irrigation Schedules for Sugarbeets on Medium and Coarse Textured Soils in the Northern Great Plains1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 68 No. 1, p. 45-48
    Received: Apr 25, 1975

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  1. D. K. Cassel and
  2. Armand Bauer2



An increase in the access to irrigation water in the Northern Great Plains is effecting large increases in the acreages of soils being irrigated. Much of this water is being applied to medium to coarse-textured soils which hold a maximum of 7 to 12 cm of available water in a 152 cm deep profile. An investigation was conducted in the field to devise a system, using tensiometers, to schedule the application of irrigation water to sugarbeets growing on these soils. Tensiometers were installed at various soil depths, and irrigation water was applied with a small plot irrigator when soil moisture tension reached a predetermined level.

One tensiometer located at the 45 cm depth was equally effective in scheduling as two tensiometers, one positioned at a depth of 30 and one at 61 cm. Maximum crude sugar yields of 8.4 to 8.8 metric tons/ha were obtained in 1971 and 1973, respectively. Total water use efficiency was 0.15 to 0.16 metric tons of crude sugar/ha per cm. The maximum irrigation water use efficiencies were 0.32 and 0.36 for 1971 and 1973, respectively. It is concluded that 56 to 62 cm of water, well distributed throughout the growing season, is sufficient for sugarbeet production is southeastern North Dakota in a year of normal growing season temperatures.

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