Seasonal Timing of Regulated Deficit Irrigation in Pecans

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Project Investigator: Dr. Richard Heerema, Pecan Specialist

Project Co-Investigators: Dr. John Mexal, Dr. Dawn Van Leeuwen

Project Description: The purpose of this project is to provide growers with information that can reduce irrigation cost with minimal impact on harvest quality and/or yield. One objection is to determine if regulated deficit irrigation maintains pecan yield and quality, pruning requirements and return bloom.

This project will run for a period of two years, with four irrigation treatments being applied on trees in Dona Ana County, NM. One treatment will be controlled and the trees will be watered according to the Mesilla Valley Pecan Growers' Irrigation Scheduling Estimator. Other treatments will receive two fewer irrigations annually. Each irrigation deficit will be applied during different times of the growing season. Nut yield and quality vegetative growth, plant water status, soil moisture, and return bloom will all be measured throughout the project.