The objective of this research is to evaluate the impact of soil management and localized irrigation techniques on water use efficiency in the cultivation of cauliflower. The treatments consisted of 4 different types of soil management: Direct seeding using crotalaria and brachiaria cover crops, a treatment used both in conjunction, and another that employed a conventional system. Two different irrigation techniques were used: Surface and subsurface. The experimental design was completely random in a factorial arrangement (4x2) with four repetitions. Each experimental unit was composed of 20 cauliflower plants, with a density of 1.8 m between rows and 0.5 m between plants. The experiment was carried out in two stages; the first stage consisted of the establishment of the cover crops and the second stage of the planting of cauliflower cv. Avenger in the different treatments. The cover species were cut at ground level 108 days after they had been sown. The cauliflower seedlings were grown in a protected environment and transplanted after 21 days. Irrigation was managed through the use of tensiometry. Water use efficiency was the variable that was analyzed; the Tukey Test at 5% level of probability was applied to the data that was obtained. A combined use of crotalaria/brachiaria cover crops with subsurface drip irrigation is recommended; this was the combination that most efficiently saved water.
Key words: Brassica oleracea cv. botrytis, Crotalaria ochroleuca, Brachiaria ruziziensis, soil management, irrigation.
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