Growth, dry-matter production, yield and water use of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis subvar. cauliflora) in relation to irrigation and nitrogen fertilization

Prabhakar, M.; Srinivas, K.

Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences 65(8): 570-573


ISSN/ISBN: 0019-5022
Accession: 002855874

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In a field experiment conducted on a sandy loam soil during the winter seasons (Oct.-Feb.) of 1989-90 and 1990-91, cauliflower cv. Snowball 16 plants received 30 mm of irrigation at frequencies to replenish 25, 50, 75 or 100% of the accumulated evaporation from a USWB class A pan (Epan), in combination with N fertilizer at 0, 60, 120 or 180 kg/ha. Significant increases in plant height, number of leaves and leaf area/plant were observed with up to 50% Epan replenishment, beyond which the increase was marginal. The most frequent irrigation resulted in the highest DM accumulation in leaves (85.2 g/plant), stems (28.4 g/plant) and curds (31 g/plant), leading to highest total DM production (144.6 g/plant). An increase in irrigation from 25 to 100% of Epan linearly increased curd yield (from 8.06 to 16.22 t/ha) and crop evapotranspiration (from 238 to 541 mm). However, irrigation regime did not affect the field water-use efficiency. N at 180 kg/ha gave the highest DM production (162.4 g/plant) and curd yield (18.61 t/ha) but was at a par with 120 kg N/ha. N fertilizer did not greatly affect crop evapotranspiration. N at 180 kg/ha gave 4.48 kg curd yield and 2.2 kg dry biomass for every mm of water consumed. A decrease in N rate from 180 to 60 kg/ha reduced water-use efficiency by 33%. The differences in water-use efficiency were caused by an effect of N nutrition on the curd yield rather than on water use by the crop.