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International Research Journal of Agricultural Science and Soil Science

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Reference evapotranspiration and date palm water use in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Abstract

Ahmed I. Alamoud*, Fawzi S. Mohammad, Saad A. Al-Hamed and Ahmed M. Alabdulkader

A number of field experiments were conducted to measure reference Evapotranspiration (ETr) and Date Palm water use, in seven popular regions of date palm trees in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during three successive seasons (2005 through 2007). Actual ETr was obtained through lysimeteric measurements, while net date palm water use (ETc), was measured by soil water balance approach. Moreover, water requirements were also computed by Penman-Montieth, for the sake of comparison. The results have indicated that there are some differences in ETr and ETc in various regions, due to the difference in geographical location and impact of climatic factors. Comparison between measured and computed ETr have shown higher trends for measured rates in all regions with an average of about, 7.04 mm/day, and a maximum of 11.7 mm/day. The average daily Date Palm water use, was 184.4 l/day for all regions. Total net annual date palm water use have ranged between 59.4 and 80 m3/tree. Date Palm crop coefficients have ranged between 0.80 and 0.99 for all regions, the average values of crop coefficients for each month is not equal in studied regions. From the economic perspective, the variation of the total net annual date palm water use in the study areas had impacted the average water costs and the net economic returns of date palm farms, accordingly.

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