Use of Three Irrigation Strategies in a Greenhouse-Grown Green Bean Crop in the Almeria Coast

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The Mediterranean greenhouse horticulture is a very competitive sector in Spanish and European agriculture, but it is facing a severe competition within and outside the EU market. Thus, in Mediterranean areas with limited water resources such as the Almería coast, the development of irrigation scheduling practices for minimising water use and lixiviates, and improving vegetables yield and quality is of primary importance. For improving the irrigation scheduling practices, evapotranspiration of the main horticultural crops of the region was determined using the FAO method (Fernández et al., 2001). Later, models for estimating daily values of crop evapotranspiration using real-time (ETc) or historical climate data (ETh) were developed (Fernández et al., 2001). Irrigation of green beans, one of the main greenhouse crops in Almería, occupying an area of about 4800 ha, is mainly based on local farmers' experience without a scientific basis. This work was aimed to study the influence of three irrigation strategies on growth and production of a greenhouse green bean crop.

A.M. González
S. Bonachela
M.D. Fernández
J.C. Gazquez