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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Evapotranspiration of Cool-Season Turfgrasses in the Humid Northeast1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 79 No. 5, p. 901-905
    Received: July 7, 1986

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  1. L. J. Aronson,
  2. A. J. Gold,
  3. R. J. Hull and
  4. J. L. Cisar2



As competition for water increases in the northeastern United States, turfgrass culture must be directed toward practices that will lower water requirements. This study was conducted to quantify and compare the evapotranspiration (ET) rate of well-watered grasses in the humid Northeast. Predictive methods for irrigation scheduling of turf were also evaluated. Weighing lysimeters, 0.25 m in diameter and 0.28 m deep, were placed into field plots of well-watered mature turf growing on an Enfield silt loam (coarse-silty over sandy-skeletal, mixed, mesic Typic Dystrocrept), and ET was determined by weighing the lysimeters at 24-h intervals throughout the summers of 1984 and 1985. The grasses studied were: Poa pratensis L, ‘Baron’ and ‘Enmundi’; Lolium perenne L., ‘Yorktown II’; Festuca rubra var. cummutata Gaud., ‘Jamestown’ and Festuca ovina var. duriuscula (L.) Koch, ‘Tournament’. Consistent annual differences were not observed in the variable summer weather that characterizes southern New England. Daily meteorological data were used to calculate reference ET by the modified Penman equation and from pan evaporation. A crop coefficient (Kc) was calculated for each grass as the ratio of ET measured to ET predicted. Seasonal Kc values based on the Penman equation ranged from 0.88 for Tournament in 1984, to 1.09 for Enmundi in 1985 (CV, 0.15–0.30). Seasonal Kc based on pan evaporation data was more variable, ranging from 0.86 to 1.31 (CV, 0.34–0.44). The Penman equation predicted ET more consistently, and could provide a reliable and useful tool for irrigation scheduling of turfgrass in southern New England.

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