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Open AccessArticle

Assessing the Impact of Reference Evapotranspiration Models on Decision Support Systems for Irrigation

Institute for Vegetable Crops, Hochschule Geisenheim University, Von-Lade-Str. 1, 65366 Geisenheim, Germany
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Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040049
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management of Horticultural Crops)
Reference evapotranspiration (E T 0) is a major estimator for crop water requirements predicted by decision support systems for irrigation. However, the impact of different E T 0s on the predicted amount of water supply and counts of irrigation events has not been evaluated. Simulations of the Geisenheim Irrigation Scheduling (GS) for vegetable crops with two different E T 0s, P2-E T 0 and FAO56-E T 0, were evaluated to assess exemplarily the impact of E T 0s. The sensitivity of both E T 0s to local climate conditions was characterized through a random forest analysis, and a linear regression model was used to adjust the original GS by adapting K c-values to the exchange E T 0. For assessing the outcomes of GS irrigation decision, simulations of 173 individual cropping cycles including six vegetable crops over eight years were conducted. After adjusting P2-E T 0 K c-values to FAO56-E T 0 K c-values, there was no impact of the E T 0-model on the practical irrigation scheduling with GS. Finally, we discuss that any E T 0-model, if adjusted accordingly, might have little impact on similar irrigation systems and provide a method to exchange E T 0s. View Full-Text
Keywords: irrigation scheduling; random forest; crop water balance; Kc-values; vegetable crops irrigation scheduling; random forest; crop water balance; Kc-values; vegetable crops
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Olberz, M.; Kahlen, K.; Zinkernagel, J. Assessing the Impact of Reference Evapotranspiration Models on Decision Support Systems for Irrigation. Horticulturae 2018, 4, 49.

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