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Estimation of water requirements and Kc values of 'Thompson Seedless' table grapes grown in the overhead trellis system, using the Eddy covariance method

Paulina Villagra1, Victor Garcia de Cortazar2, Ra˙l Ferreyra1, Cristina Aspillaga1, Carlos Z˙˝iga1, Samuel Ortega-Farias3, and Gabriel SellÚs1*

Crop evapotranspiration (ETc) is essential for irrigation scheduling. The amount of water consumed can be estimated by multiplying the reference evapotranspiration (ET0) by a crop coefficient (Kc); the value of Kc is usually obtained from FAO Paper nr 56. In table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.), Kc are obtained from experiments in vines trained on trellis systems; however in Chile, the most used is the overhead trellis system (parronal). Therefore, the objective was to determine water requirements and Kc values of a table grape orchard cv. Thompson Seedless trained on an overhead trellis system in Calle Larga (32º52’40” S, 70º37’45” W, 795 m a.s.l.), Aconcagua Valley, Chile, using the Eddy covariance method. During the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 seasons, the instruments required for ET0 and ETc measurement were installed on a 4 m tower above the soil (2 m above vine canopy). The ET0 was estimated according to the FAO Penman-Monteith equation and ETc by the Eddy covariance method. The Kc was obtained by ratio between ETc and ET0. The maximum ETc was 7 mm d-1 and total water consumption was 810 mm. The season maximum Kc value of 1.2 was obtained near harvest during the first season, and 20 d before veraison in the second season. The Kc increased linearly with the percentage of intercepted solar radiation (IRS) by the vine canopy at noon, suggesting that an equation to convert the IRS to Kc is more useful than Kc tabulated according to phenology. The equation obtained in this experiment was Kc = 0.012 IRS – 0.1029, R2 = 0.85.

Key words: Energy balance, evapotranspiration, FAO Penman-Monteith, Vitis vinifera.

1Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, INIA La Platina, Santa Rosa 11610, Santiago, Chile. *Corresponding author (gselles@inia.cl).
2Universidad de Chile, Facultad de Ciencias Agronˇmicas, Santa Rosa 11315, Santiago, Chile.
3Universidad de Talca, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Av. Lircay s/n, Talca, Chile.

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