In cranberry production, efficient drainage systems are essential for the development of precision irrigation methods. Most cranberry fields are equipped with subsurface drainage systems used for water table control and excess water removal. Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton) are highly sensitive to wet soil conditions, and decreases in crop yield are often caused by a malfunction of the drainage system. The main objective of this study was to identify the effect of soil hydrodynamic parameters on subsurface drainage efficiency and cranberry production. During the 2013 and 2014 cropping seasons, real-time measurement devices were installed in 15 fields in the Quebec region, to monitor water table drawdown. Characterization of the soil hydrodynamic properties was done on undisturbed soil cores collected from these 15 fields, and the relationships between drainage efficiency and soil properties were determined. The results of this study highlight the importance of soil hydrodynamic properties on water table drawdown and cranberry yield and showed that nearly 50% of the variance of water table drawdown and crop yield is explained by soil hydrodynamic properties.
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Vol. 97 • No. 1