|D.A. Goldhamer, J. Dunai, L. Ferguson
Mature olive trees were irrigated for two seasons at eight rates using the water budget approach and crop coefficients (Kc) that ranged from 0.16 to 0.85. This resulted in applied water amounts from 226 to 1173 mm for the season.
Tree performance was evaluated by monitoring predawn leaf water potential (LWP), vegetative and reproductive growth processes, and the yield components.
Predawn LWP decreased with time over most of the season with the exception of the two highest irrigation treatments (Kc's = 0.75 and 0.85). Shoot and fruit growth, load, value per unit weight produced, and yield were correlated with applied water.
A first order expression accurately described the relationship between revenue return and applied water from 200 to 1000 mm.
The steep slope of this expression suggests that meeting the tree water use requirements is preferable to sustained deficit irrigation when water costs are $1.21/m3 or less.
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