|Seymour, Rose Mary|
Submitted to: Small Fruit Reviews
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2003
Publication Date: 2/20/2004
Citation: Starr, G.C., Seymour, R., Olday, F., Yarborough, D. 2004. Determination of evapotranspiration and drainage in lowbush blueberries (vaccinium angustifolium) using weighing lysimeters. Small Fruit Reviews. 3:45-56 Interpretive Summary: Lowbush blueberry growers need recommendations for managing irrigation water applications over an area of Southeastern Maine where climatic conditions vary depending on how close to the Atlantic coast the farm is situated. This study examined the amounts of water used by blueberry plants at several locations with varying distance from the coast. Water vapor from the ocean was seen to supply significant crop water at the coastal site, thus reducing the irrigation requirements there. Further inland, where the atmosphere was drier and hotter, and the irrigation requirements were also higher. This research should help improve water use efficiency of irrigated blueberry production.
Technical Abstract: Lowbush blueberry growers need recommendations for irrigation scheduling. This study was conducted to determine irrigation water use potential. Initial data were collected using weighing lysimeters to measure evapotranspiration and drainage covering a period from the end of April through early August, 2002. High rainfall and drainage rates near the end of April indicated a period of rapid leaching when chemical applications could be beneficially postponed. Nighttime increases in lysimeter weight were observed indicating that direct vapor deposition is a significant factor in the water balance. Results from this ongoing study will be used for scheduling irrigation water applications to improve water use and production efficiency.