Potato Evapotranspiration and Productivity as Affected by Drip Irrigation Frequency and Soil Matric Potential

  • Fengxin Wang
  • Zhongqi He


Drip irrigation has been shown to be an effective method for achieving high potato yields. Soil matric potential (SMP) and irrigation frequencies are two important factors in optimizing potato production and tuber quality. This chapter reviews and discusses a case study of potato evapotranspiration (ET) and productivity in drip irrigated potato systems in the North China Plain in 2001 and 2002, as affected by SMP and irrigation frequency. The experiment in this case study included five treatments for SMP: F1 (−15 kPa), F2 (−25 kPa), F3 (−35 kPa), F4 (−45 kPa) and F5 (−55 kPa) and six treatments for irrigation frequency: N1 (daily irrigation), N2 (2 day intervals), N3 (3 day intervals), N4 (4 day intervals), N6 (6 day intervals) and N8 (8 day intervals). In general, ET was reduced at lower SMP, as F5 had the lowest ET (150 mm) among the five treatments, and F2 had the highest (208 mm). F1 experienced somewhat waterlogged conditions. Potato ET losses declined as SMP dropped from −25 to −55 kPa. Higher frequency of irrigation enhanced both potato tuber growth and water use efficiency (WUE). Reducing irrigation frequency from N1 to N8 resulted in significant yield reductions by 33.4% and 29.1% in the 2001 and 2002 growing seasons, respectively. Based on the results, the authors of this case study suggested a SMP threshold of −25 kPa, and an irrigation frequency of once a day for the as a target for drip irrigation management for potato production in the North China Plain.


Tuber Yield Drip Irrigation Potato Production North China Plain Root Length Density 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Agricultural Water Research in ChinaChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Southern Regional Research CenterUSDA-ARSNew OrleansUSA

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