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Matching water supply to crop needs

Matching water supply to crop needs

Corn water use fluctuates over the season with weather conditions and crop growth stage. High yielding crops typically require 50-75 cm of water per year; much of this during tasseling, silking and early kernel development. Insufficient water at this time, in particular, invariably leads to significant yield losses.

As well as rainfall and irrigation, the availability of water to the crop depends on the water-holding capacity of the soil, the degree of field moisture loss through evaporation from the soil surface and the extent of corn root development.

All these factors – together with the effect of solar radiation, air temperature, humidity and wind on crop transpiration – need to be considered in planning and managing irrigation to minimise crop water stress.

Matching irrigation as precisely as possible to actual crop requirements throughout the season is, of course, equally important in minimising unnecessary water and energy use.

Studies on 15 separate sites in Italy and Greece where AQUATEK management has been compared with standard farm practice using both sprinkler and drip irrigation systems show valuable performance improvements from bringing all the crucial elements of crop water intelligence together in a dedicated supporting service.

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