Onion yield and quality response to two irrigation scheduling strategies Academic Article uri icon


  • Irrigation technologies that conserve water are necessary to assure the economic and environmental sustainability of commercial agriculture. This study was conducted in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to evaluate yield and quality of subsurface drip irrigated onions (Allium cepa L.) using different scheduling strategies and water stress levels. One strategy consisted of initiating irrigation when the reading of a granular matrix sensors (Watermark11Mention of a trademark, proprietary product or vendor does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the product, nor does it imply approval or disapproval to the exclusion of other products or vendors that may also be suitable. soil moisture sensor, Irrometer, Co., Riverside, CA) installed at 0.2 m depth reached -20 kPa (optimum), -30 kPa and -50 kPa. The second strategy was to replace 100%, 75%, and 50% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc) weekly. Higher total yields, and jumbo onion size yields were obtained when the soil moisture was kept above -30 kPa. Yields were not affected when water applications were reduced from 100% to 75% ETc and from -20 to -30 kPa. The ETc strategies of 100%, and 75% ETc resulted in similar water usage to the soil moisture monitoring strategies of initiating irrigation at -20 and -30 kPa. Total yields dropped significantly when soil water stress increased below -50 kPa. For the ET based strategy yields also dropped with the 50% ETc treatment. Onion bulb pungency and brix were unaffected by water level. 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Enciso, J., Wiedenfeld, B., Jifon, J., & Nelson, S.

citation count

  • 53

complete list of authors

  • Enciso, Juan||Wiedenfeld, Bob||Jifon, John||Nelson, Shad

publication date

  • May 2009