DRIP IRRIGATION REGIME AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF APPLE TREES, DEPENDING ON THE METHODS OF IRRIGATION SCHEDULING
A great part of the territory of Ukraine is located in the zones of insufficient and unstable moistening. In such conditions successful agricultural activity is possible only when applying irrigation.
Official statistics indicates an essential lack of irrigation systems in the Ukraine's horticulture. The irrigated lands in Ukraine under fruit-bearing plantations of fruit-bearing age make up only 16,2 thousand hectares or 13 % of their total area. As a result, farms and agricultural enterprises do not use their productive capacity in full effect in fruit production therefore they lose a lot of profits.
Applying drip irrigation provides an increase in yields 4-5 times as much or even more. Its use for long-term plantations makes it possible to create super-intensive orchards with a yield of 50 and more tons per hectare providing high consumer quality products.
Obtaining the maximum effect from irrigation to a large extent depends on the correctness of irrigation scheduling.
The purpose of the study was to determine the optimal method for setting proper irrigation scheduling to ensure a suitable regime of drip irrigation and water consumption of apple varieties as in the case of Renet Symyrenko variety on the rootstock M-9.
Methods of research: 5 plots of apple orchard were allocated and for each of them a separate method of irrigation scheduling was chosen, namely:
1) 1st – when using an automatic soil moisture station iMetos ECO D2 (sensors of the Echo Probe type);
2) 2d – when using tensiometers;
3) 3d – when using Penman-Monteith calculation method (iMetos weather station 1, computer program CROPWAT 8.0);
4) 4th – when using the visual method;
5) 5th - without irrigation (reference area).
Based on the study results the necessity of using the automatic internet station for soil moisture iMetos ECO D2 when applying drip irrigation and establishing water consumption of apple plantations has been substantiated. The irrigation rate, the total water consumption and the water consumption coefficient were calculated using different methods of irrigation scheduling. The method that enables to significantly save irrigation water and electric power as well as to prevent unreasonable expenses has been established. It was experimentally proved that the optimal variant to meet plant water consumption requirements and perform a duly irrigation scheduling is the method when using the automatic internet station of soil moisture iMetos ECO D2. So for setting up a proper drip irrigation scheduling it is recommended to use iMetos Internet Station as the least labor-intensive and cost-effective equipment to provide efficient cultivation of orchard plantations.
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