The Irrigation experiment at Tatura's Stonefruit Field Laboratory aims to Identify the combinations of irrigation levels and timing that will enable the late season nectarine variety September Bright to achieve maximum uniformity in fruit quality attributes.
The experiment has three irrigation levels and four irrigation application timings as treatments.
The irrigation levels (% of tree evapotranspiration), applied using drip irrigation, are:
· 0: severe deficit irrigation to impose high level of water stress
· 20 & 40: deficit irrigation to impose a moderate level of water stress
· 100: control irrigation, crop water requirement to maximise yield
The experiment has four irrigation application timings and likely crop responses:
· Stage I of fruit development: water stress restricts cell division, reduces fruit size and yield
· Stage II of fruit development: water stress reduces vegetative vigour
· Stage III of fruit development (early): water stress reduces fruit size and yield
· Stage III of fruit development (late): water stress reduces fruit size and yield
Nectarine cv. September Bright
Planted winter 2014
Treatments: Irrigation Level (ETc: 0, 20, 40, 100%) x Irrigation Timing (fruit growth stage: 1, 2, 3a, 3b)
Open Tatura tree training
Dr Mark O'Connell discusses some of the findings from the irrigation experiment in the following video (9 min, 37 sec)