A field study was conducted from September to December 1997 at the Federal University of Ceará Experimental Farm in Pentecoste, Brazil. The irrigation scheduling was based on a tensiometer, Class A pan evaporation and Hargreaves equation. The purpose of the research was to evaluate the three treatments (Treatment 1 - tensiometer, Treatment 2 - pan evaporation and Treatment 3 - Hargreaves equation) with four replications in a completely randomized design. Sprinkler irrigated cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp), cultivar João Paulo II for fresh consumption was grown on the experimental area. Plants were spaced at 0.90 x 0.40 m, maintaining two plants per hole. Crop yield showed no significant difference, although using the tensiometer to schedule irrigation, the water consumption was 28 and 30% lower compared to the Class A Pan Evaporation and Hargreaves equation, respectively. The tensiometer may be indicated as an instrument for saving water in irrigation scheduling.
tensiometer; Class A evaporation pan; Vigna unguiculata L. (Walp); water depth