• Effects of fluid nitrogen fertigation and rate on microsprinkler irrigated grapefruit

      Thompson, Thomas L.; Maurer, Michael A.; Weinert, Tom L.; Wright, Glenn; Kilby, Mike (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1999-11)
      Microsprinkler irrigation offers excellent flexibility for site-specific management of water and nitrogen inputs for citrus orchards in the southwestern United States. Escalating water costs, declining water availability, and increasing regulation of nitrogen (N) fertilizer use are causing growers to adopt practices to improve water and N use efficiency. A three-year field experiment was initiated in the spring of 1996 on six-year-old pink grapefruit trees at the University of Arizona Citrus Agricultural Center. The objectives of this experiment are to i) evaluate the effects of fertigation frequency and fluid N application rate on the yield and fruit quality of microsprinkler irrigated grapefruit, and ii) develop best management guidelines for fluid N application frequency and rate for microsprinkler irrigated citrus. Treatments include a factorial combination of two N rates (recommended and 2 the recommended rate) and three fertigation frequencies (weekly, monthly, and tri-monthly). Minimal treatment effects were observed during the first season due to the influence of previous management practices. During the second season, fertilized trees yielded greater than the control trees. There was no significant difference between N rates, but fruit yield was generally higher with monthly or weekly fertigation. Leaf tissue samples collected during the second and third growing seasons showed increasing leaf N with increasing fertigation frequency at the high N rate.