Using Weighing Lysimeters to Develop Evapotranspiration Crop Coefficients

by James L. Wright, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Kimberly, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Grouting in Geotechnical Engineering


Weighing lysimeters provide an accurate means of measuring evapotranspiration (ET), the evaporative loss of water from growing crops. Two weighing lysimeters were installed at a research site near Kimberly, ID, and have been used during the past 20 years to measure the ET of the major irrigated crops of the region. Results were used in developing functional relationships and coefficients for use with the reference ET-crop coefficient approach for estimating crop ET from meteorological, crop and soil data. Examples of the use of meteorologically determined alfalfa reference ET and lysimetrically measured crop ET for the development of mean and basal crop coefficients are presented. Encountered problems and some successfully used solutions are discussed.

Subject Headings: Crops | Measuring instruments | Evapotranspiration | Meteorology | Water leakage and water loss | Weather forecasting | Water resources | Arid lands | Idaho | United States

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