Submitted to: Blueberry Research Extension North American Workers Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2003
Publication Date: 2/1/2004
Citation: Starr, G.C., Seymour, R.M., Olday, F. 2004. Determination of evapotranspiration and drainage in lowbush blueberries using weighing lysimeters. Small Fruits Rev. 3:45-56 Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Knowledge of the water balance in lowbush blueberries can be used to efficiently target irrigation water applications for optimum agricultural water management. Weighing lysimeters were designed to measure evapotranspiration and drainage in lowbush blueberries. The lysimeter design incorporates an inner chamber containing the plants, supported by a weighing load cell in an outer chamber with a drainage collection system. These are installed at three field locations where conditions of fog, humidity, temperature, and distance inland from the Maine coast differ to such an extent that blueberry irrigation requirements may be affected. The first installation, located at Blueberry Hill Farm in Jonesboro, ME, provided preliminary data. The initial data were collected from April 28 to May 5, 2002, and were characterized by high rainfall, high drainage, and low evapotranspiration. These conditions are favorable for groundwater recharge, whereas plant water uptake is minimal. Waiting to apply agricultural chemicals until later in the spring would appear to be advantageous as leaching related losses are potentially high.