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ASHS 2024 Annual Conference

 

Evapotranspiration Rates of Three Sweet Corn Cultivars under Different Irrigation Levels

Authors:
Haimanote K. Bayabil Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Homestead, FL 33031, USA

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Fitsum T. Teshome Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Homestead, FL 33031, USA

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Sandra M. Guzman Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Indian River Research Center, University of Florida, Fort Pierce, FL 34945, USA

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Bruce Schaffer Horticultural Sciences Department, Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Homestead, FL 33031, USA

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Abstract

Understanding plants’ response to different irrigation levels is essential for developing effective irrigation scheduling practices that conserve water without affecting plant growth and yield. The objective of this study was to evaluate the responses of three sweet corn (Zea mays var. saccharata) cultivars 1170, 8021, and Battalion under three irrigation levels (50%, 75%, and 100%). Irrigation treatments were based on soil moisture management allowable depletion. Replicated trials were conducted, in an open field using 1-gal containers, at the Tropical Research and Education Center, Homestead, FL. A drip system with microsprinklers was used for irrigation. Daily crop evapotranspiration (ETc) rates were measured using a digital scale based on differences in weights of soil containers and plants. Reference evapotranspiration (ETo) was calculated using the FAO-Penman-Monteith equation. Crop-coefficient (Kc) values for the three cultivars were calculated from measured ETc and calculated ETo. In addition, leaf area, stomatal conductance, and fresh biomass were measured. Total irrigation amounts corresponding to the 50%, 75%, and 100% treatments were 116, 162, and 216 mm, and total ETc values were 128, 157, and 170 mm, respectively. The two deficit irrigation treatments (50% and 75%) resulted in a reduction of ETc for the three cultivars compared with the 100% irrigation treatments. Results also showed that under 75% and 100% treatments, Kc values were usually greater than 1 for the three cultivars and reached as high as 1.5. Additionally, leaf area and fresh biomass weight in the 50% treatment were mostly lower than in the 75% or 100% treatments.

Florida’s vegetable industry covers a total land area of more than 251,000 acres and had an economic value of $1.34 billion in 2016 (Dittmar et al. 2022). In 2021, sweet corn (Zea mays var. saccharata) was grown on 34,400 acres with an estimated economic value of $208 million (U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service 2021). Proper irrigation management is essential to achieve optimal sweet corn yield and quality. Reports show that growing sweet corn under deficit irrigation reduced biomass accumulation (Stone et al. 2000). Similarly, plant growth, development, and physiological processes of field corn (Z. mays) were negatively affected by water stress, which resulted in a significant reduction in biomass, the number of kernels per ear, kernel weight, and grain yield (Payero et al. 2009; Traore et al. 2000).

Previous studies have investigated yield responses of sweet corn and field corn under different irrigation levels with a goal of developing irrigation strategies that conserve water without significantly affecting yield. A study showed that field corn yield was significantly correlated with crop evapotranspiration (Payero et al. 2008). Yazar et al. (1999) evaluated the effect of six irrigation levels on field corn and found that the highest grain yield, dry matter, kernel numbers, and water use efficiency were obtained from both the fully irrigated treatment and the treatment receiving 80% of the required irrigation water. Similarly, Djaman et al. (2013) reported that 60% and 75% irrigation based on soil field capacity resulted in field corn yield that was comparable with the 100% irrigation. In contrast, Karam et al. (2003) found a 305 g·m−2 yield reduction of field corn irrigated with 60% irrigation compared with the 100% based on crop evapotranspiration. Irrigation frequency was also found not to have a significant effect on field corn yield as long as available soil water was maintained at 80% or above (Caldwell et al. 1994). Stockle and James (1989) reported that economic returns were higher for crops subjected to slight water deficits compared to fully irrigated crops. The general expectation is that irrigation water use efficiency decreases with an increase in irrigation rate (Ko and Piccinni 2009; Panda et al. 2004; Payero et al. 2008; Rivera-Hernández et al. 2010). Viswanatha et al. (2002) reported that with an increase in the amount of irrigation, water use efficiency of sweet corn was decreased. Similarly, water-stressed field corn had a higher irrigated water use efficiency compared with nonstressed corn as a result of reduced plant transpiration due to reduced leaf area (Karam et al. 2003).

Ertek and Kara (2013) reported that ∼70% to 80% of crop water use is induced by plant transpiration. Plant transpiration is regulated by stomatal conductance (Lavoie-Lamoureux et al. 2017; Tuzet et al. 2003; Urban et al. 2017). Understanding the effects of different irrigation levels on evapotranspiration and selected crop physiological parameters including stomatal conductance is critical for developing irrigation management options that conserve water without affecting crop yield and yield components. As a result, this study was conducted to investigate the responses of three sweet corn cultivars (1170, 8021, and Battalion) under three irrigation levels (50%, 75%, and 100%).

Materials and methods

Experimental setup

This study was conducted at the Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) of the University of Florida, Homestead, FL (Fig. 1). The study site has a subtropical climate with a major rainy season from June to September (Zhang et al. 2018). The experiment was conducted under open-field conditions. Sweet corn plants were grown in 1-gal plastic containers (7 inches depth, 7 inches diameter) with drainage holes at the bottom (Fig. 1). Plastic containers were set up on a black weed mat used to cover the ground. The holes were covered with a nylon net to retain soil but allow the free drainage of water. Each container was filled with Krome gravelly loam soil collected from the top 8 inches of an agricultural field at TREC. The bulk soil was mixed thoroughly and sieved through a 5-mm sieve before being packed in the containers. Pots were filled up to 6 inches leaving a 1-inch head space to avoid overflowing of irrigation or rainfall. In each container, five seeds of one of three sweet corn cultivars (1170, 8021, and Battalion; Syngenta Seeds, Woodland, CA) were planted. After germination, plants were thinned leaving only one plant per container. Plants were irrigated with an automated drip irrigation system with one microsprinkler per container. The microsprinkler spray pattern was adjusted by installing an inverted plastic cup above the microsprinkler to ensure that water was delivered only within the container for accurate water balance. The sprinkler system had an average application rate of 200 mL·min−1 and distribution uniformity of 90%.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Study site location and experimental setup of sweet corn irrigation study at the University of Florida, Tropical Research and Education Center, Homestead, FL. 1 km = 0.6214 mile.

Citation: HortTechnology 33, 1; 10.21273/HORTTECH05114-22

A randomized complete block experimental design was used with three irrigation levels, three cultivars, and four replications. This resulted in a total of 180 plants (3 cultivars × 3 irrigation levels × 4 replications × 5 plants within each replication). Irrigation scheduling for the three irrigation treatments; i.e., 50%, 75%, and 100% were performed based on maximum allowable depletion (Fig. 2). Irrigation levels were targeted to replenish 100%, 75%, or 50% of maximum allowable depletion values. Maximum allowable depletion was set at half of the soil water holding capacity calculated as the difference between field capacity and the permanent wilting point. In the 100% treatment, the soil was allowed to dry to maximum allowable depletion, equivalent to 50% of soil water holding capacity and then irrigated to field capacity or 100% maximum allowable depletion. In the 75% treatment, the soil was allowed to dry to 37.5% water holding capacity and then irrigated to 87.5% field capacity, equivalent to 75% maximum allowable depletion. In the 50% treatment, the soil was allowed to dry to 25% water-holding capacity and then irrigated to 75% field capacity, equivalent to 50% maximum allowable depletion. Thus, the soil moisture in the three treatments was maintained between 50% to 100%, 37.5% to 87.5%, and 25% to 75% of field capacity, respectively (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Schematic of irrigation refill points corresponding to the 100% and 50% irrigation treatments (IRR). Fc = soil field capacity; PWP = soil permanent wilting point; IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_100 = 100% MAD.

Citation: HortTechnology 33, 1; 10.21273/HORTTECH05114-22

Of the 180 pots, 36 pots (three irrigation treatments × three cultivars × four replications) were selected for daily weight measurement to determine evapotranspiration, drainage, and soil water balance. These pots were nested with a secondary container with no drainage holes to allow the collection of excess water draining from the first container with soil. To create sufficient space for drainage water in the additional pots, the inside pot with soil was placed on a 5-cm-high polyvinyl chloride ring. Nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K) were supplied using a fertilizer, obtained from a local fertilizer distributor in Homestead, FL, with 6N–2.3P–8.3K. Initial fertilizer application rate was applied at the rate of 2 g/pot: equivalent to 75, 65, and 125 kg·ha−1 N, P, and K, respectively. The fertilizer rates were calculated based on average soil weight (8 lb). The weighed amount of fertilizer was mixed uniformly within the top 10 cm soil depth before planting. Then, seeds were planted, and irrigation was applied for 2 min (i.e., 400 mL water per container).

A top-dressing fertilizer was applied to each container at 11 and 37 d after emergence using a 22N–1.5P–8.3K fertilizer at the rate equivalent to 150 kg·ha−1 N. Due to excess rainfall-related leaching of nutrients, one more N topdressing was applied at 40 d after emergence using urea (45N–0P–0K) for an N rate equivalent to 200 kg·ha−1. The experiment was conducted during the 2019–20 cropping season with planting on 6 Dec 2019 and harvesting on 18 Feb 2020.

Data collection and analysis

Irrigation treatments were initiated 22 d after emergence once the plants had between two to three leaves. The 36 pots were weighed daily. Water loss by leaching was measured by weighing the leachate collected from the second nested container without drainage holes. Evapotranspiration rate from each container was measured daily using a digital scale and daily crop evapotranspiration losses were calculated based on the daily weight differences of containers. Soil water deficit was estimated by subtracting the total weight of the plant and container on a given day from the weight recorded on the previous day. It was assumed that biomass accumulation was a slow process compared to evapotranspiration losses. Daily evapotranspiration losses were recorded until the maximum allowable depletion was reached before irrigation was triggered. Additional measurements included stomatal conductance using a porometer (Meter Group, Inc., Pullman, WA) during a later stage of the rop growth period, total fresh biomass, and ear weight. Stomatal conductance was measured on a mature leaf in the middle of the canopy. Biomass was measured by cutting plants from the soil surface and separating them into different organs. Leaves were separated and leaf area was measured with a leaf area meter (LiCor Biosciences, Lincoln, NE). During the experiment, selected plants were harvested every 2 weeks for biomass and leaf area measurements. Data normality test using the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test confirmed that normality was not met. A nonparametric Kruskal–Wallis statistical test was used to evaluate the effect of irrigation treatment. When treatment effects were significant, mean comparison tests were performed using the Dunn’s test with Bonferroni correction at a 5% significance level. In addition, Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) and the coefficient of determination (r2) were used to evaluate relationships between evapotranspiration rates from irrigation treatments.

Crop coefficient

Reference evapotranspiration (ETo) was calculated using the FAO–Penman–Monteith equation (Eq. [1]) based on weather and crop-specific information (Allen et al. 1998). For each cultivar, crop coefficient values were then calculated, for different crop growth stages, as the ratio of measured ETc and calculated ETo (Eq. [2]). Weather data were obtained from the University Florida’s Homestead weather station located ∼1 mile from the study site.
ETo = 0.408Δ(Rn − G) + γ900T + 273u2(es − ea)Δ+γ(1 + 0.34 u2);
where ETo is daily reference evapotranspiration (millimeters per day), Rn is daily net radiation at the crop surface (megajoules per square meter per day), G is the soil heat flux density (megajoules per square meter per day), T is the mean daily air temperature at a 2m height (degrees Celsius), u2 is the wind speed at a 2m height (meters per second), es is the saturation vapor pressure (kilopascals), ea is the actual vapor pressure (kilopascals), es-ea is the saturation vapor pressure deficit (kilopascals), Δ is the slope of the vapor pressure curve (kilopascals per degree Celsius), and γ is a psychrometric constant (kilopascals per degree Celsius).
Kc = ETcET0;
where Kc is the crop coefficient, ETc is the crop evapotranspiration (millimeters per day), and ETo is the reference evapotranspiration (millimeters per day).

The results provided in this study can contribute to the establishment of sweet corn irrigation scheduling plans for south Florida and the improvement of evapotranspiration-based decision support tools that incorporate crop coefficients.

Results and discussion

Irrigation and rainfall

There was average rainfall during the planting and initial plant phenological stages, while during the plant development period the weather was relatively dry (Fig. 3). This is consistent with Florida’s uneven rainfall distribution and to overcome this issue all horticultural crops including vegetables are irrigated (Dukes et al. 2010). Total rainfall during this experiment was 171 mm. The temperature ranged between 10 to 30 °C except for toward the end of January when the minimum temperature was below 10 °C for 3 d. Total irrigation applied for the three (50%, 75%, and 100%) irrigation treatments were 116, 162, and 216 mm, respectively (Fig. 4). Consumptive water uses for the 100% irrigation treatment was 387 mm, followed by 75% with 333 mm and 50% with 287 mm. As a result, for the 50% and 75% irrigation treatments, approximately one-third and half of the water applied came from irrigation, while for the 100% treatment, irrigation represented more than 56% of the total water applied.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Rainfall, and minimum (Tmin) and maximum (Tmax) temperatures from the Homestead, FL, weather station of the Florida Automated Weather Network. 1 mm = 0.0394 inch; (°C × 1.8) + 32 = °F.

Citation: HortTechnology 33, 1; 10.21273/HORTTECH05114-22

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Cumulative irrigation application and rainfall during the sweet corn growth period in the IRR_50, IRR_75, and IRR_100 irrigation treatments (IRR); DAP = days after planting, Estab = crop establishment period, IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD), IRR_75 = 75% MAD, IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 mm = 0.0394 inch.

Citation: HortTechnology 33, 1; 10.21273/HORTTECH05114-22

Cultivar 1170 received slightly higher irrigation water than the 8021 and Batallion. Our results were very low compared with other studies that reported that consumptive water use of sweet corn between the ranges of 465 to 1078 mm under multiple environmental and field conditions (Grassini et al. 2011; Hao et al. 2015; Kuscu et al. 2013; van Donk et al. 2013). The consumptive water use results presented in this study are the first approximation to establish the water needs for these three cultivars.

Evapotranspiration and crop coefficients

Cumulative evapotranspiration rates for the three cultivars showed that fully irrigated plants had the highest ETc, whereas plants that received 50% irrigation had the lowest ETc (Fig. 5). It is also worth noting that starting on ∼15 Jan 2020, ETc from the 75% and 100% irrigation treatments were greater than ETo values; however, ETc from the 50% irrigation treatment was always below ETo (Fig. 5). Differences between cumulative crop evapotranspiration rates from the 75% and 100% irrigation treatments were higher for cultivar 1170 compared with 8021 and Batallion. Differences in ETc values between the three irrigation levels seem slightly higher than observed differences in ETc of the three cultivars. Overall, calculated ETo based on weather and crop information was smaller than ETc for the 75% and 100% irrigation treatments regardless of cultivar.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Cumulative reference evapotranspiration (ETo) and measured sweet corn evapotranspiration (ETc) under three irrigation levels for three cultivars [(A) 1170, (B) 8021, (C) Batallion]. DAP = days after planting; IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_75 = 75% MAD; IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 mm = 0.0394 inch.

Citation: HortTechnology 33, 1; 10.21273/HORTTECH05114-22

On the basis of measurements of the three cultivars, ETc from the 75% irrigation showed a better correlation with ETc from the 100% irrigation treatment (r2 = 0.75) compared with correlations between ETc from the 50% and 100% IRRs (r2 = 0.59). In addition, a 25% reduction in irrigation leads to a 10% reduction in ETc, whereas a 50% reduction in irrigation leads to a 26% reduction in ETc (Fig. 6). This indicates that up to 25% of water savings could be achieved at a 10% reduction in ETc. Rasool et al. (2020) reported that ETc of field corn ranged between 207 to 407 mm and between 165 and 244 mm under 100% and 60% irrigation treatments, respectively. Similarly, Di Paolo and Rinaldi (2008) reported irrigation requirements for field corn to be between 185 mm at 50% of crop evapotranspiration and 373 mm at 100% irrigation under a Mediterranean climate. Hao et al. (2019) reported that the seasonal ETc for 100%, 75%, and 50% irrigation treatments were 673, 561, and 484 mm, respectively, with a reduction in seasonal ETc of 16.6% and 28.1% for 75% and 50% irrigation treatments compared with the 100% irrigation treatment.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Correlation between measured sweet corn evapotranspiration (ETc) from IRR_100 vs. ETc from IRR_50 and IRR_75 irrigation treatments (IRR). IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_75 = 75% MAD; IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 mm = 0.0394 inch.

Citation: HortTechnology 33, 1; 10.21273/HORTTECH05114-22

On the basis of observed ETc and ETo results, it was apparent that average Kc values at different crop growth stages were greater than 1 for the 75% and 100% irrigation treatments regardless of cultivar (Fig. 7). However, Kc values for the 50% irrigation treatment were less than 1 during most of the experiment except toward the end of the crop growth period, where Kc values were 1 or slightly greater than 1 (Fig. 7). Peak Kc values were observed during the vegetative crop growth stage when Kc values reached as high as 1.5.

Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

Average crop coefficient (Kc) values at different growth stages of three sweet corn cultivars [(A) 1170, (B) 8021, (C) Batallion] under three irrigation levels (IRR). IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_75 = 75% MAD, IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 mm = 0.0394 inch.

Citation: HortTechnology 33, 1; 10.21273/HORTTECH05114-22

Leaf area and stomatal conductance

Overall, results showed that the 75% and 100% irrigation treatments resulted in a slightly higher leaf area for the three cultivars compared with the 50% irrigation treatment (Fig. 8). Among the three cultivars, however, 1170 had slightly greater leaf area in the 75% and 100% irrigation treatments compared with 8021 and Batallion. However, the average leaf area in this study was less than that observations by Williams (2008), who reported 0.25 and 0.35 m2/plant from a 2-year study.

Fig. 8.
Fig. 8.

Leaf area of three sweet corn cultivars (1170, 8021, Batallion) in the three irrigation treatments (IRR). IRR not sharing the same letter within the same cultivar type are significantly different at P < 0.05. IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_75 = 75% MAD; IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 cm2 = 0.1550 inch2.

Citation: HortTechnology 33, 1; 10.21273/HORTTECH05114-22

Water stress during the vegetative and tasseling stages reduced plant height and leaf area of field corn (Çakir 2004; Singh et al. 2007). Several studies have found that maximum leaf area index (LAI) occurred under full irrigation (Dağdelen et al. 2006; Oktem 2008; Panda et al. 2004) and LAI decreased under soil moisture stress conditions (Acevedo et al. 1971; Oktem 2008; Song et al. 2019; Stone et al. 2001). Studies showed a strong correlation between LAI and seasonal water consumption (ETc) (Kang et al. 2003; Oktem 2008).

Overall, stomatal conductance measurements did not show clear trends between the three cultivars and irrigation levels (Fig. 9). However, the 75% and 100% irrigation treatments, at most sampling times, had a slightly higher stomatal conductance than the 50% irrigation treatment for each cultivar (Fig. 9). This was in agreement with our observations of the leaf area (Fig. 8). However, differences were not significant because stomatal conductance showed high variability except on the last measurement date. In addition, stomatal conductance showed a decreasing trend as plants matured and with the senescence of leaves. On the basis of limited information, it appears that the three cultivars evaluated in this study do not have significant variation concerning their drought tolerance and/or the range of stress imposed across different irrigation treatments. Stomatal conductance regulates carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange as well as leaf water loss to prevent desiccation of leaves. Stomatal conductance can be a good indicator of plant response to drought; that is, reduction in stomatal conductance is much greater in drought-tolerant cultivars compared with drought-susceptible cultivars (Ray and Sinclair 1997). Sabagh et al. (2017) also reported stomatal conductance as a valuable tool to screen corn’s response to drought stress. They reported that increases in stomatal conductance were correlated with greater yield. Sinclair et al. (1975) found that water use efficiency of field corn decreased as stomatal conductance decreased. Increases in soil moisture deficit led to a decrease in stomatal conductance in corn leaves, which in turn resulted in a reduction in transpiration rates, photosynthesis, and total plant biomass accumulation (Shani and Dudley 2001).

Fig. 9.
Fig. 9.

Average stomatal conductance (gs) values with error bars of three sweet corn cultivars (1170, 8021, Batallion) under three irrigation treatments (IRR); IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_75 = 75% MAD; IRR_100 = 100% MAD.

Citation: HortTechnology 33, 1; 10.21273/HORTTECH05114-22

Fresh biomass and ear yield

Results for fresh biomass were consistent with results observed for other crop variables including the crop coefficient, crop evapotranspiration, and leaf area (Fig. 10). Similar to other crop variables measured in this study, fresh ear yield was not significantly affected by irrigation and cultivar type (Fig. 11). However, ear yields were numerically higher, but not significantly so, in the 75% irrigation treatment compared with the 100% and 50% irrigation treatments. Fresh ear weight was 29% and 45% less in the 100% and 50% irrigation treatments compared to the 75% irrigation treatment, respectively. This was in contrast to the general expectation that 100% irrigation is needed for optimal ear yield.

Fig. 10.
Fig. 10.

Fresh above-ground biomass weight per plant for three sweet corn cultivars, (A) 1170, (B) 8021, (C) Batallion, subjected to three irrigation treatments (IRR). Fresh biomass weight does not include ear weight; IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD), IRR_75 = 75% MAD, IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 g = 0.0353 oz.

Citation: HortTechnology 33, 1; 10.21273/HORTTECH05114-22

Fig. 11.
Fig. 11.

Fresh ear weight per plant for three sweet corn cultivars, (A) 1170, (B) 8021, (C) Batallion, subjected to three irrigation treatments (IRR). IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_75 = 75% MAD; and IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 g = 0.0353 oz.

Citation: HortTechnology 33, 1; 10.21273/HORTTECH05114-22

Overall, observed yield from this study for the three cultivars was low compared with other studies. However, among the three cultivars evaluated in this study, fresh weight was less for 8021 compared with 1170 and Battalion under the same irrigation level (Fig. 11). Fresh biomass was 25% less in 8021 compared with ‘Battalion’. This was also evident in the leaf area (Fig. 8). Moteva et al. (2016) reported that sweet corn yield was the same under drip and sprinkler irrigation systems, but irrigation amount had a significant effect on yield. Their study showed marketable ear yield ranged between 177 and 188 g under drip and sprinkler irrigation systems. Ertek and Kara (2013) reported that sweet corn fresh ear yield and quality were affected by irrigation levels. Yazar et al. (1999) evaluated the effect of six irrigation levels on field corn water stress and grain yield. They stated that the highest grain yield, dry matter, kernel numbers, and water use efficiency were obtained from the fully irrigated and 80% of required irrigation treatments. Similarly, Stockle and James (1989) found that corn under slight deficit irrigation resulted in greater net economic benefits than full irrigation. Dağdelen et al. (2006) recommended a 30% reduction in irrigation water use for corn as a deficit irrigation management strategy in semiarid areas with limited water availability. In contrast, Çakir (2004) observed a significant negative effect of water stress on corn dry matter accumulation. It was found that a short period of water deficit during the rapid vegetative growth stage caused a 28% to 32% loss of dry matter weight (Çakir 2004).

A significant linear relationship was observed between seasonal water consumption and fresh ear yield (Irmak et al. 2000; Oktem 2008; Yazar et al. 2002). Increasing the level of water stress decreased the fresh ear yield (Darusman et al. 1997; Oktem 2008; Viswanatha et al. 2002). However, applying only 25% of required irrigation resulted in significant reduction in yield, biomass, and leaf area. These adverse effects of water stress on corn plant growth as well as yield are consistent with the published results of Payero et al. (2009) and Traore et al. (2000).

Conclusions

Developing optimal irrigation management practices is critical for achieving optimal plant yield and conserving water. Evapotranspiration is the major component of the soil water balance. Understanding how evapotranspiration rates and crop coefficients are affected by different water stress levels and whether crop response to water stress levels is affected by cultivar type is critical for developing effective irrigation scheduling methods. This study investigated the effects of irrigation level on evapotranspiration rates, selected crop variables (e.g., leaf area, stomatal conductance, fresh biomass, and ear yield); and crop-coefficient values for three sweet corn cultivars (1170, 8021, and Battalion) under south Florida weather conditions. Rain events interfered with the experiment and the intended water stress levels were not fully implemented throughout the crop growing season. However, crop evapotranspiration rates showed differences between irrigation levels with 50%, 75%, and 100% irrigation treatments corresponding to 116, 162, and 216 mm total irrigation, respectively. The three cultivars tested in this study had similar consumptive water uses under similar irrigation levels. On average, a 25% reduction in irrigation led to a 10% reduction in crop evapotranspiration, whereas a 50% reduction in irrigation led to a 26% reduction in evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration, leaf area, stomatal conductance, fresh biomass, and ear yield for the 75% and 100% irrigation treatments were comparable regardless of cultivar. However, in the 75% and 100% irrigation treatments, ‘1170’ had a slightly greater leaf area than ‘8021’ or ‘Batallion’. In general, the three sweet corn cultivars evaluated in the present study could tolerate at least a 25% moisture deficit without significantly affecting crop evapotranspiration, the crop coefficient, and other crop variables. This suggests that up to 25% of water savings could likely be achieved without considerably reducing evapotranspiration and yield. However, it is also worth noting that while findings from this study provide useful insights into how irrigation levels affect crop physiological processes, further studies are needed to verify these findings under field conditions.

Units

TU1

References cited

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  • Hao, B., Xue, Q., Marek, T.H., Jessup, K.E., Becker, J.D., Hou, X., Xu, W., Bynum, E.D., Bean, B.W., Colaizzi, P.D. & Howell, T.A. 2019 Grain yield, evapotranspiration, and water-use efficiency of maize hybrids differing in drought tolerance Irrig. Sci. 37 25 34 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-018-0597-5

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  • Hao, B., Xue, Q., Marek, T.H., Jessup, K.E., Hou, X., Xu, W., Bynum, E.D. & Bean, B.W. 2015 Soil water extraction, water use, and grain yield by drought-tolerant maize on the Texas high plains Agric. Water Manage. 155 11 21 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2015.03.007

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  • Irmak, S., Haman, D.Z. & Bastug, R. 2000 Determination of crop water stress index for irrigation timing and yield estimation of corn Agron. J. 92 6 1221 1227 https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2000.9261221x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kang, S., Gu, B., Du, T. & Zhang, J. 2003 Crop coefficient and ratio of transpiration to evapotranspiration of winter wheat and maize in a semi-humid region Agric. Water Manage. 59 3 239 254 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-3774(02)00150-6

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Karam, F., Breidy, J., Stephan, C. & Rouphael, J. 2003 Evapotranspiration, yield and water use efficiency of drip irrigated corn in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon Agric. Water Manage. 63 2 125 137 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-3774(03)00179-3

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ko, J. & Piccinni, G. 2009 Corn yield responses under crop evapotranspiration-based irrigation management Agric. Water Manage. 96 5 799 808 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2008.10.010

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    • Export Citation
  • Kuscu, H., Karasu, A., Oz, M., Demir, A.O. & Turgut, İ. 2013 Effect of irrigation amounts applied with drip irrigation on maize evapotranspiration, yield, water use efficiency, and net return in a sub–humid climate Turk. J. Field Crops 18 13 19

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    • Export Citation
  • Lavoie-Lamoureux, A., Sacco, D., Risse, P.A. & Lovisolo, C. 2017 Factors influencing stomatal conductance in response to water availability in grapevine: A meta-analysis Physiol. Plant. 159 4 468 482 https://doi.org/10.1111/ppl.12530

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    • Export Citation
  • Moteva, M., Gadjalska, N., Kancheva, V., Tashev, T., Georgieva, V., Koleva, N., Mortev, I. & Petrova-Brahicheva, V. 2016 Irrigation scheduling and the impacts of irrigation on the yield and yield components of sweet corn Sci. Papers Ser. A Agron. (Univ. Agron. Sci. Vet. Med. Buchar.) 59 332 339

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    • Export Citation
  • Oktem, A. 2008 Effect of water shortage on yield, and protein and mineral compositions of drip-irrigated sweet corn in sustainable agricultural systems Agric. Water Manage. 95 9 1003 1010 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2008.03.006

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Panda, R.K., Behera, S.K. & Kashyap, P.S. 2004 Effective management of irrigation water for maize under stressed conditions Agric. Water Manage. 66 3 181 203 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2003.12.001

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Payero, J.O., Tarkalson, D.D., Irmak, S., Davison, D. & Petersen, J.L. 2009 Effect of timing of a deficit-irrigation allocation on corn evapotranspiration, yield, water use efficiency, and dry mass Agric. Water Manage. 96 9 1387 1397 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2009.03.022

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Payero, J.O., Tarkalson, D.D., Irmak, S., Davison, D. & Petersen, J.L. 2008 Effect of irrigation amounts applied with subsurface drip irrigation on corn evapotranspiration, yield, water use efficiency, and dry matter production in a semiarid climate Agric. Water Manage. 95 8 895 908 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2008.02.015

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  • Rasool, G., Guo, X., Wang, Z., Ullah, I. & Chen, S. 2020 Effect of two types of irrigation on growth, yield and water productivity of maize under different irrigation treatments in an arid environment Irrig. Drain. 69 4 732 742 https://doi.org/10.1002/ird.2480

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ray, J.D. & Sinclair, T.R. 1997 Stomatal closure of maize hybrids in response to drying soil Crop Sci. 37 3 803 807 https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci1997.0011183X003700030018x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rivera-Hernández, B., Carrillo-Ávila, E., Obrador-Olán, J.J., Juárez-López, J.F. & Aceves-Navarro, L.A. 2010 Morphological quality of sweet corn (Zea mays L.) ears as response to soil moisture tension and phosphate fertilization in Campeche, Mexico Agric. Water Manage. 97 9 1365 1374 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2010.04.001

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sabagh, A.E., Barutçular, C. & Islam, M.S. 2017 Relationships between stomatal conductance and yield under deficit irrigation in maize (Zea mays L.) J Exp Biol Agric Sci. 5 1 014 021 https://doi.org/10.18006/2017.5(1).014.021

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shani, U. & Dudley, L.M. 2001 Field studies of crop response to water and salt stress Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 65 5 1522 1528 https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2001.6551522x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sinclair, T., Bingham, G., Lemon, E. & Allen, L. 1975 Water use efficiency of field-grown maize during moisture stress Plant Physiol. 56 2 245 249 https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.56.2.245

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Singh, A.K., Roy, A.K. & Kaur, D.P. 2007 Effect of irrigation and NPK on nutrient uptake pattern and qualitative parameter in winter maize and potato intercropping system Int. J. Agric. Sci. 3 1 199 201

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Song, L., Jin, J. & He, J. 2019 Effects of severe water stress on maize growth processes in the field Sustainability 11 18 5086 https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185086

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stockle, C.O. & James, L.G. 1989 Analysis of deficit irrigation strategies for corn using crop growth simulation Irrig. Sci. 10 85 98 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00265686x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stone, P.J., Wilson, D.R., Reid, J.B. & Gillespie, R.N. 2001 Water deficit effects on sweet corn. I. Water use, radiation use efficiency, growth, and yield Aust. J. Agric. Res. 52 1 103 https://doi.org/10.1071/AR99146

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stone, P., Wilson, D., Reid, J. & Gillespie, R. 2000 Water deficit effects on sweet corn. I. Water use, radiation use efficiency, growth, and yield Crop Pasture Sci. 52 1 103 113 https://doi.org/10.1071/AR99146

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Traore, S.B., Carlson, R.E., Pilcher, C.D. & Rice, M.E. 2000 Bt and non-Bt maize growth and development as affected by temperature and drought stress Agron. J. 92 5 1027 1035 https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2000.9251027x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tuzet, A., Perrier, A. & Leuning, R. 2003 A coupled model of stomatal conductance, photosynthesis and transpiration Plant Cell Environ. 26 7 1097 1116 https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3040.2003.01035.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • US Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service 2021 Florida state agriculture overview https://www.nass.usda.gov/Quick_Stats/Ag_Overview/stateOverview.php?state=FLORIDA [accessed 15 Sep 2022]

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  • Urban, J., Ingwers, M., McGuire, M.A. & Teskey, R.O. 2017 Stomatal conductance increases with rising temperature Plant Signal. Behav. 12 8 e1356534 https://doi.org/10.1080/15592324.2017.1356534

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • van Donk, S.J., Petersen, J.L. & Davison, D.R. 2013 Effect of amount and timing of subsurface drip irrigation on corn yield Irrig. Sci. 31 599 609 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-012-0334-4

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Viswanatha, G.B., Ramachandrappa, B.K. & Nanjappa, H.V. 2002 Soil–plant water status and yield of sweet corn (Zea mays L. cv. Saccharata) as influenced by drip irrigation and planting methods Agric. Water Manage. 55 2 85 91 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-3774(01)00189-5

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Williams, M.M. 2008 Sweet corn growth and yield responses to planting dates of the north central United States HortScience 43 6 1775 1779 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.43.6.1775

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    • Export Citation
  • Yazar, A., Howell, T.A., Dusek, D.A. & Copeland, K.S. 1999 Evaluation of crop water stress index for LEPA irrigated corn Irrig. Sci. 18 171 180 https://doi.org/10.1007/s002710050059

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    • Export Citation
  • Yazar, A., Sezen, S.M. & Gencel, B. 2002 Drip irrigation of corn in the Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP) area in Turkey Irrig. Drain. 51 4 293 300 https://doi.org/10.1002/ird.63

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  • Zhang, M., de Leon, C. & Migliaccio, K. 2018 Evaluation and comparison of interpolated gauge rainfall data and gridded rainfall data in Florida, USA Hydrol. Sci. J. 63 4 561 582 https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2018.1444767

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  • Fig. 1.

    Study site location and experimental setup of sweet corn irrigation study at the University of Florida, Tropical Research and Education Center, Homestead, FL. 1 km = 0.6214 mile.

  • Fig. 2.

    Schematic of irrigation refill points corresponding to the 100% and 50% irrigation treatments (IRR). Fc = soil field capacity; PWP = soil permanent wilting point; IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_100 = 100% MAD.

  • Fig. 3.

    Rainfall, and minimum (Tmin) and maximum (Tmax) temperatures from the Homestead, FL, weather station of the Florida Automated Weather Network. 1 mm = 0.0394 inch; (°C × 1.8) + 32 = °F.

  • Fig. 4.

    Cumulative irrigation application and rainfall during the sweet corn growth period in the IRR_50, IRR_75, and IRR_100 irrigation treatments (IRR); DAP = days after planting, Estab = crop establishment period, IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD), IRR_75 = 75% MAD, IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 mm = 0.0394 inch.

  • Fig. 5.

    Cumulative reference evapotranspiration (ETo) and measured sweet corn evapotranspiration (ETc) under three irrigation levels for three cultivars [(A) 1170, (B) 8021, (C) Batallion]. DAP = days after planting; IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_75 = 75% MAD; IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 mm = 0.0394 inch.

  • Fig. 6.

    Correlation between measured sweet corn evapotranspiration (ETc) from IRR_100 vs. ETc from IRR_50 and IRR_75 irrigation treatments (IRR). IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_75 = 75% MAD; IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 mm = 0.0394 inch.

  • Fig. 7.

    Average crop coefficient (Kc) values at different growth stages of three sweet corn cultivars [(A) 1170, (B) 8021, (C) Batallion] under three irrigation levels (IRR). IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_75 = 75% MAD, IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 mm = 0.0394 inch.

  • Fig. 8.

    Leaf area of three sweet corn cultivars (1170, 8021, Batallion) in the three irrigation treatments (IRR). IRR not sharing the same letter within the same cultivar type are significantly different at P < 0.05. IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_75 = 75% MAD; IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 cm2 = 0.1550 inch2.

  • Fig. 9.

    Average stomatal conductance (gs) values with error bars of three sweet corn cultivars (1170, 8021, Batallion) under three irrigation treatments (IRR); IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_75 = 75% MAD; IRR_100 = 100% MAD.

  • Fig. 10.

    Fresh above-ground biomass weight per plant for three sweet corn cultivars, (A) 1170, (B) 8021, (C) Batallion, subjected to three irrigation treatments (IRR). Fresh biomass weight does not include ear weight; IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD), IRR_75 = 75% MAD, IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 g = 0.0353 oz.

  • Fig. 11.

    Fresh ear weight per plant for three sweet corn cultivars, (A) 1170, (B) 8021, (C) Batallion, subjected to three irrigation treatments (IRR). IRR_50 = 50% maximum allowable depletion (MAD); IRR_75 = 75% MAD; and IRR_100 = 100% MAD. 1 g = 0.0353 oz.

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  • Dittmar, P.J., Dufault, N.S. & Agehara, S. 2022 Chapter 1. Commercial vegetable production in Florida UF/IFAS Ext. Factsheet HS710. https://doi.org/10.32473/edis-cv100-2022

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  • Djaman, K., Irmak, S., Rathje, W.R., Martin, D.L. & Eisenhauer, D.E. 2013 Maize evapotranspiration, yield production functions, biomass, grain yield, harvest index, and yield response factors under full and limited irrigation Trans. ASABE 56 2 373 393 https://doi.org/10.13031/2013.42676

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  • Ertek, A. & Kara, B. 2013 Yield and quality of sweet corn under deficit irrigation Agric. Water Manage. 129 138 144 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2013.07.012

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  • Grassini, P., Yang, H., Irmak, S., Thorburn, J., Burr, C. & Cassman, K.G. 2011 High-yield irrigated maize in the western U.S. corn belt. II. Irrigation management and crop water productivity Field Crops Res. 120 1 133 141 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2010.09.013

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  • Hao, B., Xue, Q., Marek, T.H., Jessup, K.E., Becker, J.D., Hou, X., Xu, W., Bynum, E.D., Bean, B.W., Colaizzi, P.D. & Howell, T.A. 2019 Grain yield, evapotranspiration, and water-use efficiency of maize hybrids differing in drought tolerance Irrig. Sci. 37 25 34 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-018-0597-5

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hao, B., Xue, Q., Marek, T.H., Jessup, K.E., Hou, X., Xu, W., Bynum, E.D. & Bean, B.W. 2015 Soil water extraction, water use, and grain yield by drought-tolerant maize on the Texas high plains Agric. Water Manage. 155 11 21 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2015.03.007

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Irmak, S., Haman, D.Z. & Bastug, R. 2000 Determination of crop water stress index for irrigation timing and yield estimation of corn Agron. J. 92 6 1221 1227 https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2000.9261221x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kang, S., Gu, B., Du, T. & Zhang, J. 2003 Crop coefficient and ratio of transpiration to evapotranspiration of winter wheat and maize in a semi-humid region Agric. Water Manage. 59 3 239 254 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-3774(02)00150-6

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Karam, F., Breidy, J., Stephan, C. & Rouphael, J. 2003 Evapotranspiration, yield and water use efficiency of drip irrigated corn in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon Agric. Water Manage. 63 2 125 137 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-3774(03)00179-3

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ko, J. & Piccinni, G. 2009 Corn yield responses under crop evapotranspiration-based irrigation management Agric. Water Manage. 96 5 799 808 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2008.10.010

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kuscu, H., Karasu, A., Oz, M., Demir, A.O. & Turgut, İ. 2013 Effect of irrigation amounts applied with drip irrigation on maize evapotranspiration, yield, water use efficiency, and net return in a sub–humid climate Turk. J. Field Crops 18 13 19

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lavoie-Lamoureux, A., Sacco, D., Risse, P.A. & Lovisolo, C. 2017 Factors influencing stomatal conductance in response to water availability in grapevine: A meta-analysis Physiol. Plant. 159 4 468 482 https://doi.org/10.1111/ppl.12530

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moteva, M., Gadjalska, N., Kancheva, V., Tashev, T., Georgieva, V., Koleva, N., Mortev, I. & Petrova-Brahicheva, V. 2016 Irrigation scheduling and the impacts of irrigation on the yield and yield components of sweet corn Sci. Papers Ser. A Agron. (Univ. Agron. Sci. Vet. Med. Buchar.) 59 332 339

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Oktem, A. 2008 Effect of water shortage on yield, and protein and mineral compositions of drip-irrigated sweet corn in sustainable agricultural systems Agric. Water Manage. 95 9 1003 1010 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2008.03.006

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Panda, R.K., Behera, S.K. & Kashyap, P.S. 2004 Effective management of irrigation water for maize under stressed conditions Agric. Water Manage. 66 3 181 203 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2003.12.001

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Payero, J.O., Tarkalson, D.D., Irmak, S., Davison, D. & Petersen, J.L. 2009 Effect of timing of a deficit-irrigation allocation on corn evapotranspiration, yield, water use efficiency, and dry mass Agric. Water Manage. 96 9 1387 1397 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2009.03.022

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Payero, J.O., Tarkalson, D.D., Irmak, S., Davison, D. & Petersen, J.L. 2008 Effect of irrigation amounts applied with subsurface drip irrigation on corn evapotranspiration, yield, water use efficiency, and dry matter production in a semiarid climate Agric. Water Manage. 95 8 895 908 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2008.02.015

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rasool, G., Guo, X., Wang, Z., Ullah, I. & Chen, S. 2020 Effect of two types of irrigation on growth, yield and water productivity of maize under different irrigation treatments in an arid environment Irrig. Drain. 69 4 732 742 https://doi.org/10.1002/ird.2480

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ray, J.D. & Sinclair, T.R. 1997 Stomatal closure of maize hybrids in response to drying soil Crop Sci. 37 3 803 807 https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci1997.0011183X003700030018x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rivera-Hernández, B., Carrillo-Ávila, E., Obrador-Olán, J.J., Juárez-López, J.F. & Aceves-Navarro, L.A. 2010 Morphological quality of sweet corn (Zea mays L.) ears as response to soil moisture tension and phosphate fertilization in Campeche, Mexico Agric. Water Manage. 97 9 1365 1374 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2010.04.001

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sabagh, A.E., Barutçular, C. & Islam, M.S. 2017 Relationships between stomatal conductance and yield under deficit irrigation in maize (Zea mays L.) J Exp Biol Agric Sci. 5 1 014 021 https://doi.org/10.18006/2017.5(1).014.021

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shani, U. & Dudley, L.M. 2001 Field studies of crop response to water and salt stress Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 65 5 1522 1528 https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2001.6551522x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sinclair, T., Bingham, G., Lemon, E. & Allen, L. 1975 Water use efficiency of field-grown maize during moisture stress Plant Physiol. 56 2 245 249 https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.56.2.245

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Singh, A.K., Roy, A.K. & Kaur, D.P. 2007 Effect of irrigation and NPK on nutrient uptake pattern and qualitative parameter in winter maize and potato intercropping system Int. J. Agric. Sci. 3 1 199 201

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Song, L., Jin, J. & He, J. 2019 Effects of severe water stress on maize growth processes in the field Sustainability 11 18 5086 https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185086

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stockle, C.O. & James, L.G. 1989 Analysis of deficit irrigation strategies for corn using crop growth simulation Irrig. Sci. 10 85 98 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00265686x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stone, P.J., Wilson, D.R., Reid, J.B. & Gillespie, R.N. 2001 Water deficit effects on sweet corn. I. Water use, radiation use efficiency, growth, and yield Aust. J. Agric. Res. 52 1 103 https://doi.org/10.1071/AR99146

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stone, P., Wilson, D., Reid, J. & Gillespie, R. 2000 Water deficit effects on sweet corn. I. Water use, radiation use efficiency, growth, and yield Crop Pasture Sci. 52 1 103 113 https://doi.org/10.1071/AR99146

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Traore, S.B., Carlson, R.E., Pilcher, C.D. & Rice, M.E. 2000 Bt and non-Bt maize growth and development as affected by temperature and drought stress Agron. J. 92 5 1027 1035 https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2000.9251027x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tuzet, A., Perrier, A. & Leuning, R. 2003 A coupled model of stomatal conductance, photosynthesis and transpiration Plant Cell Environ. 26 7 1097 1116 https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3040.2003.01035.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • US Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service 2021 Florida state agriculture overview https://www.nass.usda.gov/Quick_Stats/Ag_Overview/stateOverview.php?state=FLORIDA [accessed 15 Sep 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Urban, J., Ingwers, M., McGuire, M.A. & Teskey, R.O. 2017 Stomatal conductance increases with rising temperature Plant Signal. Behav. 12 8 e1356534 https://doi.org/10.1080/15592324.2017.1356534

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • van Donk, S.J., Petersen, J.L. & Davison, D.R. 2013 Effect of amount and timing of subsurface drip irrigation on corn yield Irrig. Sci. 31 599 609 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-012-0334-4

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Viswanatha, G.B., Ramachandrappa, B.K. & Nanjappa, H.V. 2002 Soil–plant water status and yield of sweet corn (Zea mays L. cv. Saccharata) as influenced by drip irrigation and planting methods Agric. Water Manage. 55 2 85 91 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-3774(01)00189-5

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Williams, M.M. 2008 Sweet corn growth and yield responses to planting dates of the north central United States HortScience 43 6 1775 1779 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.43.6.1775

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yazar, A., Howell, T.A., Dusek, D.A. & Copeland, K.S. 1999 Evaluation of crop water stress index for LEPA irrigated corn Irrig. Sci. 18 171 180 https://doi.org/10.1007/s002710050059

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yazar, A., Sezen, S.M. & Gencel, B. 2002 Drip irrigation of corn in the Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP) area in Turkey Irrig. Drain. 51 4 293 300 https://doi.org/10.1002/ird.63

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  • Zhang, M., de Leon, C. & Migliaccio, K. 2018 Evaluation and comparison of interpolated gauge rainfall data and gridded rainfall data in Florida, USA Hydrol. Sci. J. 63 4 561 582 https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2018.1444767

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Haimanote K. Bayabil Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Homestead, FL 33031, USA

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Fitsum T. Teshome Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Homestead, FL 33031, USA

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Sandra M. Guzman Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Indian River Research Center, University of Florida, Fort Pierce, FL 34945, USA

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Bruce Schaffer Horticultural Sciences Department, Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Homestead, FL 33031, USA

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Contributor Notes

Funding for this research was provided by the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, through an Early Career Scientist Seed Grant, Award #212-2100-00129077. Additional funding was from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), under award number 2020-67021-31965, and the Hatch Project No. FLA-TRC-005751. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the USDA.

H.K.B. is the corresponding author: E-mail: hbayabil@ufl.edu.

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