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# CROP COEFFICIENT

## SOWAMED WORKSHOP Michel Le Page, June 2008, Amman (Jordania)

This lecture is mainly based on Benoit Duchemin IRRIMED 1st Training Workshop Evapotranspiration and Crop Water Requirements, 8-12 February 2004, Palmyria (Syria)

## Remind : FAO simplified water balance equation

DE[d+1] = DE[d] + ET - R - I + DP
DE ("Depletion") = soil water dficit = amount of water lost regarding the Total Available Water (TAW) that the soil contains for evapotranspiration.
ET evapo Transpiration Rain R

Irrigat I

Deep Percolation DP

## 0 < 0 < TAW D D TAW

D = TAW after large water supply D = TAW - CAW [ mm ] CAW = Current Available Water

## Remind : FAO simplified water balance equation

Effective Rainfall : Amount of water that reach the soil during a rain event. -> if R < 0.2 ET0 mm are supposed to be evaporated because of interception by vegetation (important in arid area !!!)
Evapo Transpiration

Effective rain R

Irrigat RunOff RO

RunOff : believed null (generally low slopes & occur when D=0) or equal to a fraction of rainfall in case of high slopes.

Deep Percolation DP

Deep Percolation : believed null except in case of important water supply. Once the soil fullfilled, DP = additional rain or irrigation (no delay) The capillary rises are neglected. This assumption is reasonable if the water table is deep enough (1 meter from the effective rooting zone ?)

## Soil = water for evapotranspiration

Readily Available Water (RAW) Total Available Water (TAW) TAW = 1000 ( FC - WP ) . Zr (mm) RAW = p x TAW (mm)

- Zr is the Root Depth - p is the Depletion Fraction (percentage of water easily transpirable)

## Irrigation Monitoring (Standard Condition)

Standard condition ( ETC ) for a specific crop = reference condition for the grasses

## (well-watered, no disease, completely shading the ground)

When to irrigate (*) Before depletion reaches RAW = p . TAW (one neccessary to be a crop in Standard Condition + disease-free + no N stress + infinite extent ) How much water ? Depletion losses by evapotranspiration
(*) There is other possible answers, according to the level water stress (and loss of production) that we accept of

## FAO method : Dual Step/Single Coefficient (1)

FAO-24 (1973, 1977) & FAO-56 (1998) 1 Cultural Coef. (Kc) such as ETC = Kc. ET0 2 calculation Steps ET0 ETC

ET0

ETC ET0 x

## ( Reference = Well - Watered Grass ) ( Standard Condition for Other Crops )

The cultural coefficient group the difference between grass and other crops in terms of evapotranspiration

## FAO method : Dual Step/Single Coefficient (2)

Basic Equation : ETC = Kc. ET0 for well-watered grass : Kc = 1. (ETC = ET0) for other crops, Kc account for all the differences with ET of well-watered grass as expressed in the PM equation

(Rn G ) +

c p

E =

ra rs + 1 + r a

(esat (Ta ) ea )

## what is changing in PM ( Rn, ra, rs, fraction cover ) ?

Crop coefficient will change because of differences in: TRANSPIRATION (ra, rs) : Crop phenological status Crop Type EVAPORATION Fraction cover Soil Type These differences depend of climate !!!

Kc = fn(Phenological stages)

(1)

Init. Growth

Maturity Senescence

Crop calendar is described with - 4 phases (Initial, Growth, Maturity, Senescence) linked to - 3 key Crop Coefficients : . KcINI --> KcMID --> KcEND .

Kc = fn(Phenological stages)
For annual plant, crop calendar in 4 phases :

(2)

Initial Stage. From sowing to vegetation fraction cover of 10%. Kc = KcINI : constant, generally low, but highly variable with rain and irrigation frequency (evaporat dominates !). Growth (or development stage). Until effective cover (flowering, LAI 3 ?). KcINI < Kc < KcMID : evaporat/transpirat partitioning Maturity (or mid-stage). Until start of leave yellowing (?). Kc = KcMID (maximum and constant, generally > 1) Senescence (or late-stage). Until total yellowing or yield. KcMID < Kc < KcEND : evaporat/transpirat partitioning (and date of yield !!!)

## Phenological stages duration (2)

FAO Irrigation & Drainage Paper No. 24 provides general lengths for the four stages & the total growing period for various types of climates & locations. This information has been supplemented from other sources and is summarized in Table 11.

In Crop evapotranspiration - Guidelines for computing crop water requirements by Allen R.G., Pereira L.S., Raes D. and Smith M. as FAO I&D Paper No. 56 (1998).

Kc = fn(Crop Type)
2 physical processes :

(1)

1) Aerodynamical (height, roughness, structure) Transfer of water is facilitated with more roughness => Kc > 1 by a factor 5 20 %, 2) Physiological (nature) Because the density and the functioning of stomata differs from one specie to another => Dominant group type annual ~ grass specific species (citrus, ananas) It also depends on cultural practices

Kc = fn(Crop type)

(2)

TABLE 12. Single (time-averaged) crop coefficients, Kc, and mean maximum plant heights for non stressed, well-managed crops in subhumid climates (RHmin 45%, u2 2 m/s) for use with the FAO Penman-Monteith ETo.

In Crop evapotranspiration - Guidelines for computing crop water requirements by Allen R.G., Pereira L.S., Raes D. and Smith M. as FAO I&D Paper No. 56 (1998).

## Difference in evaporation => Kc_INI variation

Kc ini related to the level of ETo and the interval between irrigations and/or significant rain

## KcMID & KcEND = fn(Climate) !

When the cover is full-developped, aerodynamical differences will be more or less large depending on climatic condition, but coefficients reported in FAO table correspond to a particular climate (RHmin 45%, u2 2 m/s). For other climatic conditions, Kc are different

## Sec Vent Fort Kc at mid-season (KcMID)

Correction formula

In summary

## Calculation steps for FAO Single Coefficient

6 steps : 1. Calculation of reference evapotranspiration ( ETo ) 2. Determination of crop calendar 3. Selection of crop coefficients for the 3 key-stages of crop calendar : KcINI , KcMID, KcEND 4. Calculation of climatic condition during maturity and senescence stages. Correction of KcMID, KcEND 5. Numerical determination of crop coefficients curve 6. Estimation of ETc as ETo x Kc

## Method FAO Dual Crop Coefficient

FAO-56 (1998) : crop coefficient is explained as the sum of two coefficients that are believed to account for soil evaporation and plant transpiration
ETC = ( Kcb + Ke ) ET0 Transpiration Evaporation

## (Dual Step : ET0 then ETC)

Basal Crop Coefficient Assumption = no evaporation (dry soil top layer ) Plant is in standard condition (humid deep soil layer) . Advantage = constrained value

## Soil top layer water balance

DEJ = DEJ-1 - RJ - IJ / fw + ETsolJ / few + RPJ fw = Wetted Fraction --> Irrigation System few = Exposed and Wetted Fraction --> Evaporation

R I

DE RP
(root Zone Percolation term)

Evaporation phases

phase 2

time

ETsol = Ke ET0 ?

## Evaporation Coefficient (Ke)

Phase 1 : evapotranspiration is limited (by available energy), Kcb + Ke cannot be large than one value ( Kcmax ) ( Ke Kcmax Kcb )

Phase 2 : evaporation is limited by water availability in the soil top layer Kr : Ke = Kr . (Kcmax- Kcb) + Evaporation comes from the wetted and exposed fraction of soil : Ke few . Kcmax

## Evaporation Coefficient Ke (2)

Sol = Readily & Total Evaporable Water = REW & TEW

(m)

## Evaporation Coefficient Ke (3)

DEJ = DEJ-1 - RJ - IJ / fw + ETsolJ / few + DPJ
Three steps :
1. Kcmax -> 2. Kr -> 3. Fw & Fc

Phase 1 ( DEJ REW ) Kr =1 Phase 2 ( DEJ REW ) Kr = ( TEW - DEj ) / (TEW -REW)

## Ke = min ( Kr . (Kcmax- Kcb) , few . Kcmax )

Ex
Heavy Rain, depletion is empty, and Kr=1 Initial values from FAO tables and formulas

## Comparison of single and approaches

More accurate estimation of ET but the calculation and the formulation is much more complex (and not so clear)

## 4. Water Stress condition

Water-stressed Condition
similar approach than for evaporation reduction factor need to consider two buckets (top & root soil layer)

Water-stressed Condition

Mono-Coefficient : ETc_adj = Ks. Kc ET0 Dual-Coefficient : ETc_adj = ( Kcb.Ks + Ke ) ET0 ( Pb de la gestion de deux rservoirs )

Conclusion
Many processes are no taken into account (Interception, RunOff, transfer between different soil layer) BUT IT IS OPERATIONAL

## FAO Method : Example of benefits

Olive trees (Agdal site)

120
Total water use 800mm

## 1.4 1.2 1 Ks 0.8 0.6

stress
Applied Irrigations
Ks

## 100 Irrigation (mm) 80 60 40 20 0 Mar-03

Total use 630mm

FAO Irrigations
Oct-03

0.4 0.2 0

Apr-03

Jun-03 Date

Aug-03

2nd MEDA Water Regional Event on Local Water Management Marrakech 28-30 April 2008

Crop evapotranspiration - Guidelines for computing crop water requirements FAO Irrigation and drainage paper 56
Richard G. Allen Luis S. Pereira Dirk Raes Martin Smith

http://www.fao.org/docrep/X0490E/X0490E00 .htm