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Nutrient Management Strategies for Vegetable Production in Desert Soils Charles A. Sanchez Professor and Director Yuma Agricultural Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Nutrient Management Strategies for Vegetable Production in Desert Soils Charles A. Sanchez Professor and Director Yuma Agricultural Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nutrient Management Strategies for Vegetable Production in Desert Soils Charles A. Sanchez Professor and Director Yuma Agricultural Center

2 I. Efficient N Management for Desert Vegetables

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7 Timed N Availability Sidedress Application Controlled Release Fertilizers Fertigation

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13 Summary of Responses to N Management

14 Number of N Applications for Varying Soil Types

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18 Summary When conditions for N losses were high SD and CRN management strategies were superior. Under extremely warm conditions some CRN technologies have the potential to cause stand reduction. Under some production scenarios, the use of CRN strategies were economically favorable.

19 Plant and Soil Testing

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21 Desirable Levels of Midrib Nitrate-N for Lettuce Dry Midrib Test 8,000 to 10,000 mg/kg Sap Test 480 to 542 mg/L

22 Desirable Levels of Petiole Nitrate-N for Cauliflower

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27 Response of Lettuce to Sidedress N

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37 Design and management – physical dimensions [design] – Bed slope [design] – inlet flow rate [design + management] – cutoff time (distance) [design + management]

38 Zero-Inertia Model

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42 Application efficiency (fine-textured soil)

43 Performance indices as a function of bed slope, Q o = 0.08 cfs/ft

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45 Current Research Fertigation Salinity Assessment for Irrigation Management Remote Sensing for Irrigation Management

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47 EM 38-DD gps control box Computer platform gps antenna Retractable Tube SALT MAPPER

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49 Thermal detector aerial image collected on Oct. 23, 2001

50 Highly Organic Clay Clay Loam Silt Loam Loam Sandy Loam Loamy Sand Sand Soil Texture Variation in Lettuce Field

51 Distance (ft) D i s t a n c e ( f t ) Volumetric Soil moisture before irrigation on Oct

52 Distance (ft) D i s t a n c e ( f t ) GPS referenced lettuce yield in Imperial Valley

53 Summary N uptake patterns are useful for developing efficient N management strategies Depending on the production scenario, split sidedress N application, fertigation, and CRN are all viable options for enhancing fertilizer use efficiency Soil and plant testing can be useful in guiding post plant N applications Efficient Irrigation is an important prerequisite for efficient N management

54 II.P Management for Desert Vegetables

55 Sanchez 1980

56 Sanchez 1982

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59 Sorbed P Organic PSolution PP Minerals Plant Uptake Fertilizer P Immobilization Mineralization Precipitation Dissolution Desoption Sorption Leaching and Runoff

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63 Band Broadcast Sanchez, Swanson, and Porter 1990

64 Response of Celery to P Rate and Placement Espinoza, Sanchez, and Schueneman, 1993

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68 Summary P added to soil is quickly rendered insoluble. Both physical sorption and precipitation reactions appear to be involved. At high soil pH values P fixation is associated with the carbonate fraction. Soil temperature can influence P availability to crops under some circumstances.

69 Summary (continued) Soil and plant tissue tests are viable tools for P management of vegetable crops. The P fertilizer required should be applied preplant P placement is often an effective management strategy for improving fertilizer use efficiency.

70 III. Understanding Why Crops in the Desert Rarely Respond to K Fertilization

71 Properties of Selected Soils Soil SeriesTotal K (g kg-1) Exchangeable K (mg kg-1) Clay Mineralogy Antho S>MI>K Gilman S>MI>K Glenbar S>MI=K>Q Grabe S>MI>K=CA Indio S>MI=K>Q Pima S>MI K Q Casa Grande S KMI=K=PG>Q Gadsden S>MI=K>Q S-SMECTITE; MI-MICA; K-KAOLINITE; Q-QUARTZ; CA-CALCITE;PG-LYGORSKITE

72 Calculated Sufficiency and K Desorption Soil SeriesSufficiency Level K (mg kg -1 ) Difference between Exchangeable and Sufficiency (mg kg -1 ) K Desorbed Per 30 min. (mg kg -1 ) Antho Gilman Glenbar Grabe Indio Pima Casa Grande Mohall Superstition Gadsden

73 Summary of Clay Mineralogy Clay mineralogy was a mixed composition of smectitie, mica, kalonite, palygorskite, calcite, and quartz. All soils contained K bearing mica, typically associated with high K release rates. These soils contained negligiable amounts of vermiculite, known for a high capacity to fix K.

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78 Comparison of K Applied in Irrigation Water and Amount Accumulated by Crop CropIrrigation K (kg ha -1) Crop Accumulation (kg ha -1) Broccoli50238 Melon52176 Carrots42409 Lettuce21192 Onions59196 Sweet Corn50119

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81 Celery (Harmer and Benne, 1945; Harmer et al. 1953). Cabbage (Costigan and McBurney, 1983; Costigan and Mead, 1987). Lettuce (Pereira and Westerman, 1978; Burns, 1986; Burns and Hutsby, 1986; 1987; Costigan and Mead, 1987). Tomatoes (Figdore et al., 1987;1989). Other Vegetable Crops Showing Responses to Na when K Limiting

82 Sodium Applied in Irrigation Water CropIrrigation Water (cm) Irrigation Na (kg ha -1) Broccoli55719 Melon60785 Carrots62806 Lettuce27355 Onions Sweet Corn60780 Irrigation =ET/(1-LR)

83 Summary Many agricultural soils in the southwestern desert have soil test K levels sufficient for optimal crop production. Many agricultural soils have a high capacity to replenish K to the soil solution and exchange sites due to their clay content and clay mineralogy. Irrigation water used in the area has the potential to contribute significant amounts of K (and Na) for crop production. In addition, Na can partially substitute for K for some important crops produced in the region.


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