Association of Agrometeorologists

Assessing water requirement of orange trees using sap flow measurements in Narkhed-Pandhurna critical zone observatory (CZO) in central India

ASHUTOSH KUMAR MISHRA, PARAS R. PUJARI, SHALINI DHYANI, PARIKSHIT VERMA, RAMESH JANIPELLA, PANDURANG BALWANT, SAPTARSHI D. PURKAYASTHA, RAFAT QUAMAR and JYOTHI VELIGETI

We used thermal dissipation method for sap flux measurements in orange trees to assess its water requirement in Narkhed-Pandhurna region. Thermal Dissipation Probe (TDP) sensors were installed in 5-year old (young) and 15-year old (mature) orange trees to measure the diurnal sap flux variations in trees during November 21, 2019, to January 31, 2020 (71 days). The results show that the maximum daily water uptake by the 5-year old tree was 1.1 L observed on 39th day of measurement (December 29, 2019) and in the 15-year old tree it was 5.0 L, and it observed on 38th day (December 28, 2019) of measurement. The cumulative water uptake during the study period by the 5-year old tree was 49.0 L, and the 15-year old tree consumed 257.4 L of water. The results were compared with the recommended irrigational values of Indian Horticulture Board (IHB), Government of India (GoI) and Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA), Government of Maharashtra (GoMH) for orange orchards. The initial investigation shows that recommended guidelines for irrigation of orange trees are exorbitantly high and needs to be revised. The sap flow methods are more precise that can measure sap flow at a very short interval and can generate a time series of data. It can be used to revise the guidelines with the aim to conserve water and propose precision water irrigation for the study area in particular and different agro-climatic zones of the country in general.

Orange tree, sap flow, thermal dissipation probe, water requirement