Crop coefficients for winter wheat in a sub-humid climate regime

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Estimations of evapotranspiration (ET) from natural surfaces are used in a large number of applications such as agricultural water management and water resources planning. Lack of reliable, cheap and easy-to-use instruments, associated with the chaotic and varying nature of the meteorological and plant physiological factors influencing ET cause these estimations to be based on calculated values rather than the measured ones. The two-step approach where ET from a reference crop is calculated and multiplied by empirical crop coefficients to obtain ET from a crop has gained wide acceptance. Daily coefficients for a winter wheat crop growing under standard conditions, i.e. not short of water and growing under optimal agronomic conditions, were estimated for a cold sub-humid climate regime. One of the two methods used to estimate ET from a reference crop required net radiation (Rn) as input. Two sets of coefficients were used for calculating Rn. Weather data from a meteorological station was used to estimate Rn and ET from the reference crop. The winter wheat ET was measured using an eddy covariance system during the main parts of the growing seasons 2004 and 2005. The meteorological data and field measurements were quality controlled and discarded from the analysis if flagged for errors. Daily values of ET from the reference crop and winter wheat calculated from hourly values were used to calculate the crop coefficients. Average daily crop coefficients were in the 1.1-1.15 range during mid-season with standard deviations ranging from 0.13 to 0.23 for both years. These values exceed values used in some sub-humid climate regime studies, but agree well with values from the international literature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)918-924
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Research areas

  • Former LIFE faculty - Reference evapotranspiration, Net radiation, Eddy covariance, Crop evapotranspiration, Crop coefficients

ID: 8108197