Florida citrus groves are typically grown in two regions of the state: flatwoods and ridge. The southern flatwoods citrus area has poorly drained fine textured sands with low organic matter in the shallow root zone. Ridge citrus is located in the northern ridge citrus zone and has fine to coarse textured sands with low water-holding capacity. Two commercial citrus groves, selected from each region, were studied from 15 July 2004 to 14 July 2005. The flatwoods citrus (FC) grove had a grass cover and used drainage ditches to remove excess water from the root zone. The ridge citrus (RC) grove had a bare soil surface with weeds periodically eliminated by tillage. Citrus crop evapotranspiration (ETc) rates at the two citrus groves were measured by the eddy correlation method, and components in the energy balance were also examined and compared. The study period had higher than average rainfall, and as a result, the two locations had similar annual ETc rates (1069 and 1044 mm for RC and FC, respectively). The ETc rates were 59% (RC) and 47% (FC) of the rainfall amounts during the study period. The annual reference crop evapotranspiration (ETo) rates were 1180 mm for RC and 1419 mm for FC, estimated using the standardized reference evapotranspiration equation. The citrus crop coefficients (Kc, ratio of ETc to ET o) were different between the two locations because of differences in latitude, ground cover, and rainfall amounts. The Kc values ranged from 0.70 between December and March to 1.05 between July and November for RC, and from 0.65 between November and May to 0.85 between June and October for FC. The results are consistent with other Kc values reported from field studies on citrus in both Florida and elsewhere using these and alternate methods.
Additional publication details
Comparison of evapotranspiration rates for flatwoods and ridge citrus