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Response by sugar beet to irrigation, 1965-75

Response by sugar beet to irrigation, 1965-75

Journal of Agricultural Science, UK 89(2): 481-493

Sugar yield increases from irrigation in 19 experiments on a sandy-loam soil at Broom's Barn [Suffolk, England] over an 11 yr period were examined in relation to rainfall and to potential and measured soil moisture deficit. Irrigation increased average yield 7.6-8.3 t [tons] sugar/ha and in 6 of the years significantly increased yield by more than 1 t sugar/ha (15%). The experiments also tested plant density, N, harvest date and time, and amount of irrigation. Without irrigation, maximum sugar yield was from a density of 74,000 plants/ha, but larger densities gave slightly more yield when irrigated. Irrigation affected the magnitude of response to N, but 100 kg N/ha gave the most profitable yield increase with and without irrigation. Yield increases of about 1 t sugar/ha (15%) between early and late harvesting were also independent of irrigation. Early irrigation of 25 mm and 50 mm in June and July, respectively, increased yield in 4 of the 5 yr, but in all years applications in late summer did not increase sugar yield. The main factors controlling the yield response to irrigation were period and size of deficit. The soil type and summer rainfall at Broom's Barn were compared with those in 36 other experiments at 5 localities between 1947-1973; yield increases at Broom's Barn were smaller, probably because the others were on lighter soils.

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Accession: 000485382

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