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Revista Ceres

Print version ISSN 0034-737X

Abstract

BORTOLOTTO, Rafael Pivotto et al. Soil profile internal drainage for a central pivot fertigated coffee crop. Rev. Ceres [online]. 2011, vol.58, n.6, pp. 723-728. ISSN 0034-737X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-737X2011000600007.

Coffee cultivation via central-pivot fertigation can lead to fertilizer losses by soil profile internal drainage when water application is excessive and soils have low water retention and cation adsorption capacities. This study analyses the deep water losses from the top 1 m sandy soil layer of east Bahia, Brazil, cultivated with coffee at a high technology level (central-pivot fertigation), using above normal N fertilizer rates. The deep drainage (Q) estimation is made through the application of a climatologic water balance (CWB) program having as input direct measures of irrigation and rainfall, climatological data from weather stations, and measured soil water retention characteristics. The aim of the study is to contribute to the understanding of the hydric regime of coffee crops managed by central-pivot irrigation, analyzing three scenarios (Sc): i) rainfall only, ii) rainfall and irrigation full year, and iii) rainfall and irrigation dry season only. Annual Q values for the 2008/2009 agricultural year were: Sci = 811.5 mm; Scii = 1010.5 mm; and Sciii = 873.1 mm, so that the irrigation interruption in the wet season reduced Q by 15.7%, without the appearance of water deficit periods. Results show that the use of the CWB program is a convenient tool for the evaluation of Q under the cited conditions.

Keywords : Penman-Monteith; evapotranspiration; deep drainage; rainfall.

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