Crop coefficients of tropical forage crops, single cropped and overseeded with black oat and ryegrass


Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.)




ABSTRACT: Crop coefficient (Kc) is the ratio between crop evapotranspiration (ETc) and reference evapotranspiration (ETo), representing the phenological effects on crop water consumption. Kc is fundamental to estimating ETc by agrometeorological methods. This research study aimed to determine Kc and ETc values for Guinea grass (Megathyrsus maximus cv. Mombaça) and Bermuda grass (Cynodon spp.), both single cropped for one year and overseeded with black oat (Avena strigosa) and ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) during fall/winter. The experiment in the field comprised four plots, two for each tropical forage, with and without overseeding. At the center of each plot, there was a weighing lysimeter with an automated system for data collection. ETc was measured daily over four seasons following the lysimetric method; ETo was calculated using the Penman-Monteith equation. ETc and ETo values were used to estimate Kc values. The single cropped Guinea grass showed the highest values for ETc, with mean ETc and Kc of 3.99 mm d–1 and 1.07, respectively. The single cropped Bermuda grass showed ETc and Kc values of 3.57 mm d–1 and 0.96, respectively. The results of paired t-testing for Kc showed no significant differences (p = 0.05) between single cropped and intercropped for both Guinea grass and Cynodon spp. During winter, intercropped Guinea grass did not show an ETc significantly higher than single cropped Guinea grass, with mean Kc values 0.98 for intercropped and 1.10 for single cropped. Similarly, Bermuda grass did not show significant differences between mean Kc values for intercropped (1.02) and single cropped (1.00).

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