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  • Author or Editor: Haimanote K. Bayabil x
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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.

Open Access