Yield responses of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. Botrytis) to different water and nitrogen levels in a Mediterranean coastal area

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Global warming along with the increasing population and fresh water shortages necessitates a specific fertilization programme under water-scarce conditions. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of different irrigation and nitrogen levels on yield, growth components and water use characteristics of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. Botrytis cv. Tetris-F1) cultivated in a field for three consecutive years from 2005 to 2007 in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Turkey. Four irrigation (Kcp) levels with a drip irrigation system based on adjustment coefficients (0, 0.75, 1.0 and 1.25) of pan evaporation were used. Nitrogen (N) treatments were consisted of four different nitrogen rates (0, 75, 150 and 225 kg N ha-1). The following yield and quality parameters were determined: curd weight, curd diameters, number of leaves per crop, above ground biomass (AGB) and curd/AGB ratio. Fertilizer use efficiency (FUE) and leaf mineral contents were also determined to clarify the productivity of N treatments. According to the results; the amount of irrigation water and/or total received water affects the plant water consumption, consequently, crop yield in a field grown cauliflower. The highest yield was obtained in Kcp1.0 irrigation level which represents full irrigation treatment. The excess water applications had negative effect on yield and AGB of cauliflower. Highest yield was obtained at 225 kg N ha-1. The water use efficiency and irrigation water use efficiency values increased with decreasing irrigation rate. However, lower Kcp coefficients resulted in lower total yield. The FUE in irrigation treatments showed linear increases from non irrigation to full irrigation plots. However, excessive irrigation caused a decrease in FUE. It can be recommended that the Kcp1.0 crop-pan coefficient with 225 kg ha-1 nitrogen application can be used to achieve the highest yield for field grown cauliflower in the Eastern Mediterranean coastal region of Turkey.

Keywords: Drip irrigation; fertigation; fertilizer use efficiency; water use efficiency

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09064710.2010.539575

Affiliations: 1: Department of Plant and Animal Production, Samandag Vocational College, University of Mustafa Kemal, Hatay, Turkey 2: Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mustafa Kemal, Hatay, Turkey

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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