Earlier irrigation cutoff for sugarbeets conserves water
Stephen Kaffka, UC Davis
Gary R. Peterson, UC Davis
Don Kirby, Tulelake
California Agriculture 52(1):21-24. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v052n01p21.
In the Tulelake region near the Oregon border, sugarbeets are grown on organic soil reclaimed from a shallow lake. Groundwater is present continuously through-out the season at depths of approximately 4 feet in most fields. Typically, beets planted in April and May are irrigated until mid-September and harvested in October. However, environmental restrictions may reduce farm water supplies in the future. To determine whether sugarbeets can be grown with less irrigation water, five irrigation cutoff treatments were applied to replicated large plots at approximately 2-week intervals starting in mid-july in 1995 and 1996. Results from these trials suggest that farmers can save 4 to 6 inches of irrigation water by cutting off irrigation to sugarbeet crops 6 to 7 weeks before harvest under these soil and climate conditions.
S.R. Kaffka is Extension Agronomist, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis; G.R. Peterson is Staff Research Associate, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis; D. Kirby is Acting Superintendent, Intermountain Research and Extension Center, Tulelake;
Partial funding for this work was provided by the California Sugar Beet Industry Research Committee. Spreckels Sugar company analyzed the root samples