Irrigation & Drainage Systems Engineering

ISSN: 2168-9768

Open Access

Variability of the Ratio of Alfalfa to Grass Reference Evapotranspiration under Semiarid Climate


Djaman K, Lombard K, Koudahe K, Allen S and O’Neill M

Crop evapotranspiration estimation is critical for sustainable water management under the semiarid and arid climate in New Mexico. While irrigation scheduling is based on daily evapotranspiration through the two step approach, reference evapotranspiration and crop coefficients should be determined with accuracy. The utilization of grass reference evapotranspiration (ETo) or alfalfa reference evapotranspiration (ETr) and the conversion from one to the other calls for an understanding of the relationship between ETr and ETo. The objectives of this study were to develop the ratio of ETr to ETo values (Kr) and to determine the variability of Kr during the year for six locations across the State of New Mexico (USA). The results showed long term annual Kr values to vary from 1.28 to 1.45 and the coefficient of determination varied from 0.96 to 0.98. Kr value decreases from January to July and increases from August to December and was at its lowest Kr value at the peak daily reference evapotranspiration. Annual average Kr values were 1.31, 1.38, 1.43, 1.38, 1.38 and 1.48 at Alcalde, Fabian Garcia, Farmington, Leyendecker, Las Cruces and Tucumcari locations and the growing season average Kr values were 1.24, 1.32, 1.38, 1.31, 1.32 and 1.42 at the respective locations. The strong correlation between ETr and ETo allows the conversion of the grass reference evapotranspiration to alfalfa reference evapotranspiration and vice versa however, caution should be taken when using the crop coefficient values to convert either ETo or ETr to actual crop evapotranspiration for irrigation scheduling and water management.


Share this article

Google Scholar citation report
Citations: 835

Irrigation & Drainage Systems Engineering received 835 citations as per Google Scholar report

Irrigation & Drainage Systems Engineering peer review process verified at publons

Indexed In

arrow_upward arrow_upward