SENSIRRIFIG - Fig tree seasonal sensitivity characterization to water deficits and its commercial validation applying deficit irrigation strategies
The proposed work will take two main objectives:
1) To characterize the seasonal sensitivity of fig trees to water deficits.
2) To validate on commercial orchards the results of the seasonal sensitivity characterization previously obtained.
To achieve Objective 1), experimental work will be performed during three consecutive seasons on an experimental platform, which will consist in 120 potted 5-year-old fig trees in 200 l containers. The platform will be installed on bare soil and all the trees will be watered by a smart irrigation system with 40 irrigation sectors with an individual digital water meter and a solenoid valve for each sector.
To achieve Objective 2), an experimental plot will be set up at a commercial fig-tree orchard selected among the different growers who has expressed their interest in the project, located in the proximities of Lleida. Since the object of this activity is to explore the feasibility to use the information about seasonal fig tree sensitive to water deficits (from Objective 1) managing irrigation in commercial fig orchards, the experimental activity will conduct the second and third year of the project, while we will take advantage of this first year to select the most appropriate commercial plot, and arrange the experimental distribution in order to avoid heavy interactions which may diffuse the results (orchard uniformity, gradients of vigor, etc).