Effects of Planting Configuration on Water Use and Economics of Drip Irrigation Systems1
- S. D. Singh2
The drip irrigation system is expensive to install and warrants further study. To evaluate the cost of laterals needed and the amount of water used, cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.), cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. Botrytis L.), tomato (Lycopersicum esctdentum Mill.), and turnip (Brassica rapa L.) crops were grown on a loamy sand soil in rectangular, square, equilateral, and hexagonal planting geometries. The rectangular, both square and equilateral, and hexagonal planting geometries resulted in single, double, and triple row configurations and required four, two, and one drip lateral per 2.40 m plot width, respectively. The yield and quality of the produce were the same in both double and single row planting geometries. Thus, double row planting reduced cost and water use by 50%. The cost and water use were reduced 75% for the hexagonal planting geometry, but yields were 26 to 52% less than for the rectangular planting geometry; the produce quality was such that 37% heads of cabbage, 42% of cauliflower, and 23% of turnip balls were unmarketable. The quality of tomato, however, was not affected. Therefore, the hexagonal planting geometry in tomato with two separate laterals per 2.40 m should reduce cost and water use equal to that for double row planting and achieve a yield potential of twice the present production rate of 55 metric tons/ha.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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