L. Septar, C. Moale, C. Gavat. I. Caplan and M. Stanca
Trees irrigation is one of the major activities because the fruit production is proportional to water use. The current decrease of water resources leads to the urgent need to adopt a strategy which could be applied to efficiently utilize water without affecting the growth, yield and fruit quality. Therefore, deficit irrigation is an alternative. The crop studied was apricot, 'Orizont' cultivar, 13 years old, grafted on the 'Constanta 14' rootstock. The planting distance was 4 m between the rows and 5 m between trees on the row. The split-plot experiment described here is monofactorial with irrigation strategy having three graduations. The irrigation regime consists of a fully irrigated treatment (b1, non-stressed) according to the irrigation needs (100% of ETc = ETo x Kc), a deficit irrigation treatment (b2) irrigated with half the amount of water in b1 (50% of ETc), and a control, non-irrigated treatment (b3). These plots comprised three adjacent fruit tree rows, with the central row containing five trees for measurements and observations. This research aims to study the effects of deficit irrigation on some quality indicators of apricot fruits after harvest and storage. Fruits in the b3 treatment were much firmer, followed by the fruits from the b2 treatment. The study suggests that moderate deficit irrigation can be profitable for enhancing key fruit quality characteristics.
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