Recent research funding, as well as technological and management changes, has led to important scientific discoveries on irrigation and drainage of cranberry that could significantly impact on plant yield and water use. This paper integrates all this information into new proposed guidelines for irrigation and drainage management of cranberry. It explains the interaction of the different concepts, with the most recent ones published in this special issue. Cranberry yield is very sensitive to wet anaerobic conditions (soil matric potential >-4 kPa) or dry bed conditions (<-7 kPa) limiting capillary rise. It also appears that important water savings can be achieving by irrigating by a combination of overhead and subirrigation maintaining the top 15 cm of the bed within those soil matric potential limits and to meet an evapotranspiration demand up to 7.5 mm d-1, provide frost and heat protection, and avoid salt accumulation, as this crop also appears sensitive to salinity stress. Finally, following plantings, soil properties appear to evolve dynamically and should be followed through profile observations, and combination of soil water potential and ground penetrating radar data, to identify potential yield limitations.
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Vol. 97 • No. 1