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Effect of Mid-to Late-Season Water Stress on Sugarbeet Growth and Yield

Carter, J.N. and Jensen, M.E. and Traveller, D.J. (1980) Effect of Mid-to Late-Season Water Stress on Sugarbeet Growth and Yield. Agronomy Journal. 72:806-815. September 1980.

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Costs of irrigation (labor, water, and energy) and sometimes
limited-late-season water are factors associated with
the choice of crop and economic returns. Sugarbeets
(Beta vulgaris L.) have shown certain tolerance to water
stress, therefore the objective of this study was to evaluate
growth rates and characteristics, sucrose accumulation,
and N uptake by sugarbeets grown under mid to
late-season soil water deficit and plant water stress.
Sugarbeets were grown in a field experiment on a
Portneuf silt loam soil (Durixerollic Calciorthids; coarse-silty,
mixed, mesic) under normal irrigation until 15
July, after which further irrigation was terminated or
reduced on two treatments during a 2-year period. Root
yield, sucrose concentration, sucrose yield, plant N uptake,
and petiole NO₃-N were determined from samples
taken throughout each season. These experiments demonstrated
that very little, if any, sucrose yield reduction
can be expected in the Idaho area if irrigations are discontinued
after filling the soil profile with water about
1 August and if the soil contains at least 200 mm of
available water to a soil depth of 160 cm. During dry
years, there may be an advantage to applying a light
irrigation about 1 month after water cutoff and to have
sufficient surface soil water present at harvest to prevent
loss of roots by breaking. Use of deficit water management
during August, September, and October curtailed
leaf growth, reduced leaf area when no longer needed,
reduced N uptake from the soil, increased sucrose concentration
in the beet root, and decreased fresh root
yield. These effects on yields were mainly caused by dehydration
of the beet tops and roots so sucrose production
was scarcely affected even though only 74% of the normal
irrigation water was applied. Limited irrigations reduced
evapotranspiration rates because of drier surface soil and
partial stomatal closure, thereby decreasing the rate of
water extraction from the soil reservoir by the plant. Use
of mid to late-season deficit water management could
substantially reduce sugarbeet production costs in irrigated
areas and economically benefit the consumer, producer,
and manufacturer.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0449
Subjects: Irrigated crops > Sugarbeet
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:52
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2017 18:59
Item ID: 365