ABSTRACT Water and nitrogen (N) management are key factors for sustainable pear production in many areas. Effects of integrated N fertilization and irrigation systems, rootstocks, and cultivars on pear (Pyrus communis) mineral nutrition, irrigation water and N consumption, and fruit productivity were investigated on a fine sandy loam soil at Hood River, Oregon from 2005 through 2007. Nitrogen application reduced to 80% of the current broadcast application rate and fertigated in five equal split applications could supply bearing pear trees with adequate N nutrition without reducing soil N reserves. Shifting from the broadcast of dry N fertilizer on soil surface and micro sprinkler irrigation system (BSS) to the split N fertigation and drip irrigation system (FDS) did not affect tree growth, fruit yield, or fruit size of pear. However, FDS produced more Bartlett fruit in color categories of 390 - 417 and 417 - 496 nm than BSS. Irrigation water consumption was reduced by 42.0% to 78.3%, but water use efficiency was enhanced by 51.0% to 264.2% with FDS relative to BSS. Split N fertigation and drip irrigation system may be used as an alternate N fertilization and irrigation system on bearing pear orchards to reduce irrigation water and N consumption in Hood River and other similar areas.
Cite this paper
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