DETERMINATION OF CROP COEFFICIENTS OF THREE VARIETIES OF TOMATOES
The careful planning of water use is of primary importance in any irrigation system, as water applied at wrong time or in excess of what is needed only become a waste and additional overall cost to farmers. The Crop coefficient and crop water use of three varieties of tomatoes (cherry, Roma and Jubilee) are determined in this study. Tomatoes was planted at the Demonstration farm of Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Oyun, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria between the months of December 2011 and April 2012. The crop water use was determined by water budget method while, the reference evapotranspiration was estimated using Blaney-Criddle model. The result shown that Cherry tomato among other varieties has the highest crop evapotranspiration with crop coefficient of 1.56. The mean monthly reference evapotranspiration value for the three varieties of tomatoes is 512.82mm/day. Therefore, accurate prediction of crop water use is the key to develop efficient irrigation management practices making it imperative to develop crop coefficient (Kc) for a specific crop.