Simulating Annual Irrigation Requirement for Citrus on Excessively Drained Soils

in HortScience

A water use simulation for citrus (Citrus sinensis) was used to estimate the effects of climate, soil-available water, rooting depth, allowable depletion of available water, and partial coverage irrigation on the annual irrigation requirements. The soil in the study was excessively drained Candler sand (hyperthermic, uncoated Typic Quartzipsamments) of the Central Florida Ridge. Variation of annual rainfall from 667 to 1827 mm had a relatively small impact on annual irrigation requirements. Soil-available water, depth of root zone, and allowable depletion of available water all affected irrigation management and the number of irrigations annually. Simulated annual irrigation requirements varied over a wide range depending on the allowable depletion of soil-available water, irrigation depth, and the fraction of the land area that is irrigated. Effective rain estimated by the TR21 method during months of high rainfall was higher than estimates by the water budget. Monthly irrigation requirements varied seasonally and peaked in normally dry spring months of April and May. The irrigation simulation is a useful tool for examining the range of management strategies that can be considered for citrus.

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