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Response of 'Flame Seedless' vines to different levels of irrigation water in the Aconcagua Valley, Chile

Zuniga, C., Aspillaga, C., Ferreyra, R., Selles, G.
Acta horticulturae 2017 no.1150 pp. 295-302
aeration, cultivars, evapotranspiration, irrigation rates, irrigation water, orchards, rootstocks, soil water, soil water content, table grapes, vines, water potential, water use efficiency, Chile
In the Aconcagua Valley, Chile, a 4-year research (2007/11), has been carried out to evaluate the response of table grape cultivar 'Flame Seedless' to different volumes of irrigation water. The experimental site was a commercial orchard of 'Flame Seedless' grafted on Freedom rootstock, located in the Aconcagua valley (70°41'23”W; 32°47'20.9”S), Chile. Four irrigation treatments were applied in a factor of: 0.57, 0.89, 1.12 and 1.51 of crop evapotranspiration (ETc), during the seasons 2007/08 to 2010/11. Soil water content was monitored with a capacitive probe in each treatment. Midday stem water potential was also measured (MSWP). The minimum soil available water (SAW) and MSDWP were found in 60% ETc treatment in all seasons, but this did not affect berry size distribution and bunch weight, in comparison with the other treatments. In average, the maximum exportable yield was obtained in the 110% ETc treatment. Exportable yield diminished 12% with application of 60% of ETc. Application of water over 110% ETc diminished yield around 10%. Probably, this was related to poor soil aeration. The water use efficiency changed, on the average, from 7 kg m-3 of exported fruit at 60% ETc to 2.3 kg m-3 with water applied at 150% ETc.