If we could reduce by just 25 percent (of the optimum water amount), he said of the results, we would have a slight decline in yield as expected, but we would have a significant increase in phytochemicals for spinach.
They also will experiment applying the irrigation water in different ways such as through a center pivot or by subsurface drip to find the most efficient way to apply less water.
The industry does not demand per se a high lycopene tomato or high beta carotene spinach, Leskovar said. I feel that in the near future, there will be a segment that will be demanding a product with high phytochemical content. But of course, this will take a little time.
When that happens, the methods being verified through these scientific studies now will be ready for grower application, he said.
We are kind of anticipating to that aspect, so that we will be ahead of the game, he added.
|Contact: Kathleen Phillips|
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications