IRRIGATION AND PHOSPHORUS MANAGEMENT OF ALFALFA (Medicago sativa L.) UNDER SEMI-ARID CONDITIONS


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Erkovan Ş., İleri O., Erkovan H. İ., Koç A.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF FIELD CROPS, vol.27, no.2, pp.265-275, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.17557/tjfc.1187216
  • Journal Name: TURKISH JOURNAL OF FIELD CROPS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.265-275
  • Keywords: Alfalfa, deficit irrigation, fertilization, phosphorus, SUBSURFACE DRIP IRRIGATION, POTASSIUM FERTILIZATION, DEFICIT IRRIGATION, NITROGEN-FIXATION, FORAGE YIELD, SOIL-WATER, QUALITY, BROMEGRASS, IMPACT
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

The frequency of irrigation and deficit irrigation management are drawing attention because water resources are becoming limited year by year, especially in the last decade. Besides, the rate and application time of P fertilization gained more importance just after the researchers found out it is more effective than N-fertilizing for alfalfa cultivation. This study aimed to determine the effects of different irrigation managements (seasonal deficit, intervals of 5, 7, and 9 days), phosphorus application season (autumn and spring), and the rate of P fertilizer (0, 30, 60, 90 kg ha-1) on the yield and forage quality of alfalfa. The experiment was conducted in the 2019-2020 years, which was the 3rd and the 4th years of alfalfa respectively, under semi-arid Mediterranean conditions. The stand height and fiber content (NDF) were higher in the autumn application. However, forage contained more nitrogen in the spring application. A higher amount of water (1600 mm) with higher irrigation frequency (5 days - I5d) caused a reduction in yield due to water excess. The yield was the highest (21.34 t ha-1) and the forage quality was better in 896 mm water application with 9 days intervals (I9d). Seasonal deficit water management caused a significant loss in yield and quality. Nevertheless, 18.04 t ha-1 dry matter yield with 24.05 % CP content was recorded at seasonal deficit water management. P fertilization increased the yield and forage quality. The yield was the highest (20.23 t ha-1) at the rate of 90 kg ha-1 P fertilizer, but yield and forage quality characteristics were similar between 30, 60, and 90 kg ha-1 P. The results showed that P fertilization could be done in both autumn and spring at the rate of 30 kg ha-1 and 896 mm water could be applied at 9 days intervals for fulfilling performance under semi-arid Mediterranean conditions. When water resources are very scarce, the seasonal water deficit should be applied, especially in late summer.