Effect of Partial Root-Zone Drying Irrigation Technique (PRD) on the Total Dry Matter, Yield and Water Use Efficiency of Potato under Tunisian Semi-Arid Conditions

  •  Béchir Nouna    
  •  Mourad Rezig    
  •  Hassouna Bahrouni    
  •  Haroun Ammar    


Three field experiments were conducted in the plot of Technical Centre for Potato and Artichoke during three cropping season  2009, 2010 and 2011.The objective of this research is to evaluate the effect of the partial root-zone drying irrigation technique (PRD) on the dry matter, yield, water consumption and water use efficiency of potato (Spunta Variety). Four treatments were applied from the initiation of tuberisation stage to potato harvesting: FI treatment received 100% of Etc; PRD80, PRD70, and PRD60 treatments received respectively: 80, 70 and 60% of FI at each irrigation event and it was shifted between the two sides of the plants every 2 to 10 days. The highest water consumption was observed in FI as 336.5, 376, and 341.8 mm in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively, and the lowest was found in PRD60 as 280.4, 294.5, and 256.1 mm in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. The maximum tuber yield was obtained from the FI as 25.6, 42.9 and 39.1 tha-1, in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. There was no significant difference between FI and PRD60 with respect to tuber yields (LSD 5%).The highest water use efficiency (WUEY) was found in PRD60 as 13.4 kg m-3, in the second experiment (2010) and the lowest was found in PRD80 as 6.8 kg m-3 in the first experiment (2009). In the other hand, a linear relation between the accumulated total dry matter and the accumulated water consumption was able to be revealed.

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