Production and water yield of cauliflower under irrigation depths and nitrogen doses
ABSTRACT Cauliflower is a brassica produced and consumed in Brazil, whose cultivation depends on the adequate supply of water and nutrients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of irrigation depths and nitrogen doses on the production components and water yield of cauliflower hybrid Barcelona CMS. The treatments consisted of five irrigation water depths (0, 75, 100, 125 and 150% of the crop evapotranspiration) combined with five nitrogen doses (0, 75, 150, 300 and 450 kg ha-1). The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design with a split-plot arrangement. The effects of these factors were evaluated using the response surface methodology. The water yield of the crop decreases with increasing irrigation water depth; therefore, the yield is higher when water replenishment is lower than the recommended. The highest estimated total inflorescence yield is 24,547.80 kg ha-1, with a inflorescence mean diameter of 19.60 cm, a inflorescence mean height of 12.25 cm, and an inflorescence fresh weight of 858.90 g plant-1, obtained with an irrigation water depth equivalent to 132.09% of the crop evapotranspiration (ETc) and a nitrogen dose of 450 kg ha-1. The highest inflorescence diameter and height are obtained with an irrigation depth equivalent to 128.70 and 108.20% of ETc, respectively, and a nitrogen dose of 450 kg ha-1. Therefore, the best productivity response of the Barcelona CMS cauliflower hybrid can be obtained using an irrigation depth greater than the crop evapotranspiration, regardless of the nitrogen doses.