Evaluation of water use and yield responses of drip-irrigated sugar beet with different irrigation techniques

Ustun Sahin1*, Selda Ors1, Fatih M. Kiziloglu1, Yasemin Kuslu1
Effective water use should be investigated in terms of sustainable production strategy in arid and semi-arid regions. A 2 yr field study was conducted in order to investigate the effects of full root-zone wetting (FI) and partial root-zone drying (PRD) irrigation techniques with 4 (I1) and 8-d (I2) irrigation intervals and three different irrigation levels (W1, W2, W3) adjusted according to Class A pan evaporation on root, leaf, and sugar yields and irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE) of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) Three different plant-pan coefficients (0.70, 0.60, and 0.50) were used for adjusting the three different irrigation levels. The irrigation techniques and levels affected yields significantly. Seasonal meanly irrigation quantities were 280.4 mm in FI treatments and 162.4 mm in PRD treatments. While mean root yield of 33.80 t ha-1 is obtained in FI treatments, it was 26.43 t ha-1 in PRD treatments. Similarly, mean white sugar yield (WSY) for FI treatments (5 t ha-1) was higher than PRD treatments (3.81 t ha-1). There were significant polynomial relationships between irrigation quantities and root yield or WSY in both FI and PRD treatment. PRD technique increased by 34.9% IWUE compared to FI. Although the highest root yield was determined in FI-I1W1 sub treatment as 37.57 t ha-1, the highest IWUE was determined in PRD-I1W3 sub treatment as 173.9 kg ha-1 mm-1 since it has the lowest irrigation water amount as 140.6 mm. However, among PRD treatments for more root yield and for more white sugar yield, I1W1 and I1W2 sub treatments were the best.
Keywords: Beta vulgaris, partial root-zone drying irrigation, sugar yield, water productivity, water-yield relationships.
1Ataturk University, Faculty of Agriculture, 25240 Erzurum, Turkey. *Corresponding author (ussahin@atauni.edu.tr).