Yves Martineau1, George Read1, Ron Pond1 and Marc Robichaud1
Abstract: A study was conducted at Bouctouche, Kent county in 1996, to evaluate on one hand the feasibility of using a drip irrigation system in a potato crop and on the other hand, to evaluate the effect of irrigation at two different growth stages on the yield and quality of potato tubers c.v Russet Burbank and Shepody. The soil at this site was a loamy sand with a low water holding capacity. Both the total and marketable yield were respectively higher 144.3 and 118.8 cwt/acre for Russet Burbank and 189.5 and 154.7 cwt/acre for Shepody when soil tension was kept between 35 % allowable depletion and field capacity. The effect of irrigation was mainly attributed to a greater tuber size and quality . Starting irrigation at plant emergence instead of at tuber initiation had no effect on the variety Russet Burbank. However, a higher yield was obtained when the irrigation started at plant emergence for the variety Shepody. These results were due to the fact Shepody had already initiated tubers when the irrigation treatment started. The use of drip-tape to supplement water in the potato crop has been proven technically feasible. More work needs to be done on the use of a devise installed on the harvester to retrieve the drip tape.
1Land Resources Branch, NBDARD, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1