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Completed project

Aerated water irrigation for increased water productivity, yield and quality of processing tomato (TM13005)

Key research provider: Central Queensland University
Publication date: Tuesday, February 5, 2019

What was it all about?

The project, which ran from 2013 to 2016, investigated the potential benefits of the use of aerated irrigation water (referred to as ‘oxygation’) on the performance of subsurface drip irrigated processing tomato crops.

When a crop is irrigated using a subsurface drip system, a zone of saturated soil exists for a time as the wetting front from the drip emitters moves through the soil profile.

Low levels of available oxygen associated with the wetting front may adversely affect the roots of plants growing in the soil, potentially reducing the yield and quality of susceptible crops such as processing tomato.

This project tested any advantages of increasing the level of dissolved oxygen in the irrigation water to increase oxygen availability to crop plant roots, potentially overcoming oxygen deficits during irrigation.

Researchers examined the capacity of two different oxygation systems to increase dissolved oxygen levels throughout the length of drip irrigation lines in processing tomato crops and measured crop yield and quality of oxygation compared with control treatments in commercial crop trials.

Both methods of oxygation that researchers tested increased the percentage of dissolved oxygen in the irrigation water by three- to four-fold, but neither significantly increased crop yield or tomato quality.

Related levy funds


Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation

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