Historic note

Group Title: Bradenton GCREC research report - University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center ; BRA1993- 2
Title: Water requirements for drip irrigated strawberries in south central Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00065257/00001
 Material Information
Title: Water requirements for drip irrigated strawberries in south central Florida
Series Title: Bradenton GCREC research report
Alternate Title: Drip tips, water requirements for drip irrigated strawberries in south central Florida
Physical Description: 2 leaves : ; 28 cm
Language: English
Creator: Clark, Gary A
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (Bradenton, Fla.)
Publisher: Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
Place of Publication: Bradenton FL
Publication Date: 1993
Subject: Strawberries -- Water requirements -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Microirrigation -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: Gary A. Clark.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "February, 1993"
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065257
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 68623017

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Historic note
        Page 1
        Page 2
Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida

1 UNIVERSITY OF Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
-- FLO RIDA 5007-60th Street East, Bradenton, FL 34203
Bradenton GCREC Research Report BRA1993-2
SInstitute of Food and Agricultural Sciences February 1993

,_, ,Marston Science


University of Florida



Gary A. Clark
Associate Professor of Agricultural Engineering and Extension Irrigation Specialist

Water management in drip irrigated strawberry production requires information about the water needs of the crop
as well as the water-holding characteristics of the soil. Excessive irrigation can leach crop nutrients from the root
zone while soil moisture deficit can result in crop stress. This publication will briefly present estimates of strawberry
plant water requirements under drip irrigated conditions for crops produced in the south central Florida region.

Reference evapotranspiration (ETo) refers to the expected water use from a uniform green cover crop surface such
as a grass. Actual crop use is generally less and is determined by using a crop coefficient relating crop ET (ETc) to
ETo. Reported values of ETo are generally expressed as inches of water use over the surface. This choice of units is
appropriate for use with sprinkler irrigation systems. However, volumetric units are more appropriate for drip
systems. Actual crop ET depends on reference ET as well as crop development. Table 1 presents typical daily ETo
values for the Tampa Bay area during the normal Florida strawberry production period as well as estimates of crop
ET for two transplanting periods. Irrigation amounts should then be scheduled to meet the crop ET requirements
within the constraints of the irrigation system.

Drip irrigation in Florida strawberry production uses roughly 11,000 feet of tube per acre (4 ft bed spacing). Drip
tubing water discharge is generally rated as flow per unit length, such as 0.5 gallons per minute (gpm) per 100 feet.
Therefore, tubing water discharge per acre would be about 55 gpm. This information is necessary for properly
scheduling irrigations. Table 2 converts tubing flow in gpm per 100 feet to gallons per hour (gph) per 100 feet,
gallons per minute per acre, and run time in minutes needed to apply 1000 gallons per acre at 100% efficiency.
Actual irrigation time will be longer due to system inefficiencies, soil conditions, and crop cultural characteristics.
However, Table 2 may be used with Table 1 to establish initial management guidelines.

Soil properties should also be known and monitored for an effective irrigation management program. The volume
of readily available water to the crop depends on the soil water holding properties and the crop root zone. Water
should be applied when no more than half of the available water has been depleted. For a well developed, drip
irrigated strawberry crop, the root zone may extend within a 9 inch radius of the drip tube. The amount of water
that would be available to the crop between field capacity and 50% depletion may range from 1000 gallons per acre
for a very coarse sand, to 1800 gallons per acre on a medium textured sand, to nearly 3000 gallons per acre on some
of the heavier, finer textured sands. Therefore, some sandy soils with low water holding capacities may require
frequent irrigations (such as daily) with relatively short durations during low crop ET periods or even multiple cycles
per day during high crop ET periods. However, soils with greater water holding capacities can be managed with less
frequent irrigations and longer irrigation durations. The irrigation run time should be sufficient to re-wet the active
root zone, apply needed chemicals (fertilizers), and meet the constraints of the irrigation system and scheduling

Proper water management in drip irrigated production systems requires knowledge of crop water requirements, soil
water holding and water distribution properties, and close monitoring of the irrigation system, the crop, and
atmospheric conditions. The information in this Fact Sheet is provided for use as initial guidelines for developing an
effective and conservative water management program. Because actual field conditions and requirements vary, this
information is intended for management purposes only.

Table 1. Historical average daily reference and estimated crop ET values for drip irrigated strawberry plants in the
Tampa Bay area for transplants set in September and Octoberl.

(inches) (gal/ac) (inches) (gal/ac) (inches) (gal/ac)

SEP 0.16 4300
OCT 0.14 3800 0.030 800
NOV 0.11 3000 0.035 950 0.025 700
DEC 0.08 2200 0.035 950 0.025 700
JAN 0.09 2400 0.035 950 0.040 1100
FEB 0.12 3300 0.065 1700 0.050 1400
MAR 0.14 3800 0.080 2200 0.075 2000
APR 0.19 5200 0.110 3000 0.110 3000
MAY -0.20 5400 0.120 3300

Table 2. Comparison of tubing flow rates to irrigation discharge per acre and run time needed to apply 1000 gallons
per acre at 100 % efficiency. (This table assumes 4 foot bed centers).

(gpm per 100 feet) (gph per 100 feet) (gpm per acre) (minutes @100% eff.)

0.2 12 22 45
03 18 33 30
0.4 24 44 23
0.5 30 55 18
0.6 36 66 15

1 Data sources include University of Florida, Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin 205 "Potential
Evapotranspiration Probalilities and Distributions in Florida"; and the Final Report to the Southwest Florida Water
Management District on Project B-32 "Water Requirements and Crop Coefficients for Strawberry Production in
Southwest Florida".

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