New Evapotranspiration Crop Coefficients

by James L. Wright, Soil Scientist; U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Snake River Conservation Research Center, Route 1, Box 186, Kimberly, Idaho, 83341,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 1, Pg. 57-74

Document Type: Journal Paper


Improved crop coefficients for various Pacific Northwest irrigated crops were developed for estimating crop evapotranspiration (ET) from estimates or measurements of reference ET. Reference ET was based on that for well watered, actively growing alfalfa with sufficient growth for near maximum ET in arid, irrigated regions. ET for the alfalfa reference crop and other crops was measured with sensitive weighing lysimeters at the field site near Kimberly, Idaho. The new crop coefficients are basal or minimal coefficients for conditions when soil evaporation is minimal but root-zone soil moisture is adequate. When combined with improved estimates of evaporation from wet soils, they should permit more accurate estimates of daily crop ET, more accurate irrigation scheduling, and more reliable estimates of crop water requirements. Curves were developed for alfalfa, potatoes, snap beans, sugarbeets, peas, sweet and field corn and winter and spring cereals.

Subject Headings: Vegetation | Irrigation | Soil water | Evapotranspiration | Crops | Wells (water) | Arid lands | Measuring instruments | United States | Pacific Northwest | Idaho

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