Optimizing Irrigation Water and Nitrogen Fertilizer Levels for Tomato Production

The Open Agriculture Journal 31 December 2019 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874331501913010198



Though nitrogen and water are key factors for tomato production, their optimum integration is not well identified in the study area. Therefore, optimizing irrigation level and nitrogen fertilizer rates are crucial to boost tomato yield as well as for better nutrient and Water Use Efficiency (WUE).


The objective of the present study was to determine the optimum irrigation water and nitrogen fertilizer levels for higher tomato yield, improved water and nutrient use efficiencies.


Split plot design was implemented with three irrigation levels expressed as a percentage of potential Evapotranspiration (ETc) allotted to the main plots and four nitrogen levels as sub-plots. Climate data were imported to AquaCrop model climate dataset for determining irrigation water amount and irrigation scheduling. Irrigation scheduling was determined using the FAO AquaCrop model and the crop evapotranspiration (ETc) in AquaCrop model was determined using Penman-Monteith method.


Irrigation water and nitrogen fertilizer levels markedly influenced the growth and yield performance of tomato, nutrient residue, Agronomic Efficiency (AE), Partial Factor Productivity (PFP) as well as Water Use Efficiency (WUE). With this, the most influential factor for tomato production was the nitrogen level rather than irrigation.


In this study, higher growth and yield performance as well as, better water and nutrient use efficiencies of tomato were obtained while the irrigation level of 75% ETc is interacted with a nitrogen fertilizer rate of 92 kg N/ha.

Keywords: Tomato yield, Nutrient residue, PFP, AE, WUE, ETc.
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