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Yield and quality responses of carrots (Daucus carota L.) to water deficits

Reid, J. B., Gillespie, R. N.
New Zealand journal of crop and horticultural science 2017 v.45 no.4 pp. 299-312
Daucus carota, biomass, carrots, field crops, irrigation rates, microirrigation, roots, soil water, soil water deficit, total soluble solids, water stress, New Zealand
There is little quantitative information available on the responses of carrots (Daucus carota L.) to water deficits. We tested the hypothesis that root yield decreases with increases in the maximum potential soil water deficit (D Øₘₐₓ, mm). Field crops of carrot (Chantenay Red Core) were grown under a rain-out shelter near Lincoln, New Zealand, using trickle irrigation to achieve six treatments that differed in the timing (early-, mid- and late-season) and intensity (moderate and high) of water stress. There were also unirrigated and fully irrigated (minimal water stress) treatments. Total biomass and root yields declined linearly with increasing D Øₘₐₓ, supporting the hypothesis under test. Storage root diameter, but not length, also decreased, so that process-grade packouts of roots fell sharply with D Øₘₐₓ. There was no significant relationship between root soluble solids concentration and D Øₘₐₓ. Minimising water deficits is crucial for achieving high yields of quality carrots.