Document Type : Research paper


1 Asistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Mechanization, kerman Branch, Islamic Azad University, kerman, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Mechanic of Biosystems, College of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

3 PhD Candidate, Department of Mechanic of Biosystems, College of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran


The development of aeroponic cultivation technology has led to more efficient use of water and plant nutrients for producing high quality agricultural commodities. In this research, cucumbers were grown in columnar aeroponic systems for nine weeks and the effect of spraying rate and spraying duration on the cucumber average yield and water usage efficiency were investigated. The experiments were performed using factorial experiment based on completely randomized designs. The spraying rate had three levels of 125, 250 and 375 mL/min, and the spraying durations were 10, 15 and 20 min. During the experiment, the spraying pumps were turned off for 15 min between each spraying time. Then, the two factors were simultaneously optimized using response surface methodology to maximize fruit yield and water usage efficiency. The ANOVA results showed that both responses were significantly affected by the main effects of the factors (α = 0.01) and by their interaction effects (α = 0.05). The comparison of first and second-order models to show the average yield and water usage efficiency as functions of sparing rate and sparing time indicated that the second-order models fitted with higher accuracies (R2> 80%) to the experimental data than the first-order model. Simultaneous optimization showed that the most suitable spraying rate was 233.37 mL/min and for the spraying duration, it was 16.06 min. At the optimum conditions, the average yield per plant yield was 2.96 kg and the water usage efficiency was 110.37 kg/m3.


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