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AbstractThe world supply of quality water for irrigation of crops is being depleted. Growers in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world, where irrigation is a requirement for crop production, are looking for ways to conserve their water use and increase their irrigation efficiency. One tool that has been useful in helping growers reduce their irrigation water inputs is computerized irrigation scheduling programs. This study is part of a joint project between the government of Egypt (National Agricultural Research Project), USA1D and The University of Arizona. Working together, researchers from Egypt and Arizona are developing water management tools that will help both countries better use their scarce water resources in arid environments. The main thrust of this segment of the project is to develop water use data on vegetables grown in both regions. These data will then be used to develop crop coefficient data to be used in AZSCHED, a computerized irrigation scheduling program developed at the University of Arizona. Using a subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) system, carrots, cauliflower, head lettuce, and tomatoes were grown to determine water use patterns and develop basal crop coefficients. Water use data were collected using a neutron moisture gauge and a time domain reflectometer (TDR). Soil water data were collected 1 day following an irrigation and just prior to the next irrigation. Additionally, three different watering regimens were employed using available water content in the rootzone as a trigger to initiate irrigation (20 %, 30% and 40% depletion). The carrots, cauliflower and lettuce were planted in early October, 1993, using a randomized block design. Yield data showed no significant differences between treatments for any of the vegetables. Also, the soil moisture data did not indicate water stress in the treatments. In March of 1994, tomato transplants were planted and the irrigation treatments were altered to 30 %, 40% and 50% depletion, in an attempt to get significant differences between treatments. The results for all four vegetables showed high variability in soil water data between replications, although an initial determination of basal crop coefficients was possible. Additional data will be required to better refine the crop coefficients.
Series/Report no.Series P-100