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A comparison of soil-water distribution under ridge and bed cultivated potatoes

Robinson, David. 1999 A comparison of soil-water distribution under ridge and bed cultivated potatoes. Agricultural Water Management, 42 (2). 189-204. 10.1016/S0378-3774(99)00031-1

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Abstract/Summary

Data is presented comparing infiltration of irrigation and rain water to potato crops planted in ridges and beds in East Anglia, UK. An automatic soil water station (ASWS) was used to monitor soil water content and potential in the two cultivation systems. The ASWS data indicated that most of the water bypassed the potatoes planted in ridges as irrigation water applied to the crop from a boom irrigator was shed off the ridges infiltrating in the furrows. This was due to the water repellent nature of the sandy soil and meant that the irrigation water bypassed the potatoes. A soil water deficit built up in the core of the ridge as the crop grew and was not replenished by irrigations. A second early potato crop planted in beds was more successful at capturing water as the flat bed increased water infiltration around the crop. This has major implications for cultivation practice, scab control and crop water management. Instruments measuring soil water potential, content, temperature and rainfall were connected to a data logger powered by a solar panel and proved a successful way of monitoring infiltration. Hourly data was collected so that a high temporal resolution data set could be constructed in order to increase conceptual understanding of hydrological processes at a scale appropriate to the crop.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/S0378-3774(99)00031-1
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
CEH Sections: _ Pre-2000 sections
ISSN: 0378-3774
Additional Keywords: potatoes, irrigation, dielectric sensors, ridge cultivation, bed cultivation
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Hydrology
Date made live: 24 May 2012 08:59
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/12783

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