Evapotranspiration and crop coefficient (Kc) of pre-sprouted sugarcane plantlets for greenhouse irrigation management
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The sugarcane pre-sprouted plantlets (PSP) production system is an innovative method to enhance crop multiplication rates. This system is greenhouse-grown, where correct irrigation management is essential to maintain the production quality. The purpose of this study was to determine the water requirement of three cultivars (CTC9005HP, RB966928, and SP87365) of pre-sprouted sugarcane plantlets, in which crop evapotranspiration (ETc) is a function of the product of the crop coefficient (Kc) and reference evapotranspiration (ETo). Three specifically built PSP-weighing lysimeters were used to determine ETc, while ETo was calculated by the FAO-56 method, making it possible to assess Kc values during the PSP cycle production. The ETc ranged from 3 to 6.9 mm d−1 for CTC9005HP, 3.1 to 6.8 mm d−1 for RB966928, and 2.9 to 6.6 mm d−1 for SP87365. Daily Kc values increased from 1.00 to 1.46 for CTC9005HP, 1.02 to 1.53 for RB966928, and 1.02 to 1.49 for SP87365. This research makes evident the importance of assessing appropriate Kc values in order to estimate crop water requirements and irrigation needs. Therefore, these results are appropriate for proper irrigation management in a greenhouse-grown sugarcane PSP.
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