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Potato (So larium tuberosum L.) is sensitive to water deficit and requires irrigation for stable production in many areas of central and eastern Canada. Estimates of water use were calculated with a soil moisture budget calibrated for potato using field data on four cultivars (Jemseg, Norchip, Superior and Kennebec) collected over three years under rainfed control (CON) and irrigated (IRR) conditions at Ottawa, Canada. Analysis of soil moisture measurements in the top 0.40 m indicated crop coefficients (k) varied with plant phenological stage and the proportion of roots in the measured zone. A sensitivity analysis on two cultivars (Jemseg and Superior) showed that average k values (0.88 at stage 3 and 0.67 at stage 4) were appropriate for all cultivars and treatments. Validation using independent Norchip data suggested that soil drying rate coefficients (z) were best fitted to site-specific data. Weather-based simulations using the calibrated budget indicated that sprinkler irrigation was more efficient than trickle irrigation, when evaporation was not considered, and that both timing and amount of water applied were important to maximize potato water use.
J.B. Boisvert, L.M. Dwyer and M. Lemay 1992. ESTIMATION OF WATER USE BY FOUR POTATO (SOLANUMTUBEROSUM L.) CULTIVARS FOR IRRIGATION SCHEDULING. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 34(4):319-325.
Canadian Society for Bioengineering