Soil moisture in the potato root zone under seepage irrigation

Fernando Munoz-Arboleda, Chad M. Hutchinson


Seepage irrigation is a common pracSOIL MOISTURE IN THE POTATO ROOT ZONE UNDER SEEPAGE IRRIGATIONtice for potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production in Florida. Under this type of irrigation system, a perched water table is maintained approximately 50 cm below the top of the row during irrigation events regardless of the physiological stage of the potato crop. Potato plant evapotranspiration is a variable factor throughout the potato cycle. A study to evaluate the effect of water table depth on soil moisture at six depths (10, 20, 30, 40, 60, and 100 cm) at potato full flowering and 75 days after planting was planned. Linear regression between water table depth and soil moisture was performed. Water table depth was a good predictor of soil moisture at 20, 30, and 40 cm and could be used to optimize soil moisture in the potato root zone. Water table depth should change during the season depending on the potato growth stage and water demands of the crop. A variable water table depth will optimize soil moisture in the potato root zone for different growth stages and minimize the internal problems such as hollow heart and brown center.


Solanum tuberosum; seepage irrigation; geostatistics; water table; volumetric water content

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283