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Title

Application efficiency of micro-sprinkler irrigation of almond trees

AuthorsKoumanov, K. S.; Hopmans, J. W.; Schwankl, L. J.; Andreu Cáceres, L.; Tuli, A.
Issue Date1997
PublisherElsevier
CitationAgricultural Water Management 34(3): 247- 263 (1997)
AbstractMicro-sprinklers are becoming a preferred irrigation method for water application in orchards. However, there is relatively little data available to support a particular irrigation scheduling method. The objective of this study is to quantify the components of the water balance of an almond tree under micro-sprinkler irrigation. For that purpose, an experimental plot around an almond tree with an area of 2.0 m X 2.0 m without vegetation, representing about one quarter of the wetted area of the micro-sprinkler was instrumented with neutron access tubes, tensiometers and catch cans. Twenty-five access tubes with catch cans were distributed in a square grid of 0.5 m X 0.5 m, to a depth of 0.9 m. Eight pairs of tensiometers were installed at depths of 0.825 and 0.975 m within the experimental plot. During a 7-day period in August, 1995 the plot was sprinkler-irrigated on three days, and water application rates and uniformity coefficients were calculated for each irrigation event. Neutron probe readings at 15 cm depth increments and tensiometer readings were taken 4 to 6 times daily. Results showed large evaporation losses during and immediately after the irrigations. Evaporation losses of the wetted area was estimated to be between 2 and 4 mm/irrigation event. Consequently, application efficiencies were only 73-79%, the wetting of the root zone was limited to the 0-30 cm depth interval only, the soil profile was depleted of soil water, and dally crop coefficient values at days between irrigation events were between 0.6 and 0.8. The study recommends irrigation in the evening and night hours, thereby largely eliminating the evaporation losses that occur during daytime irrigation hours.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/58175
DOI10.1016/S0378-3774(97)00030-9
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/S0378-3774(97)00030-9
issn: 0378-3774
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