The purpose of the Irrigation calculator is to help manage irrigation scheduling for avocado (citrus) orchards. If 65% (for citrus calculations according to the FAO source the value used is 70%) or more of the canopy cover the ground then just input the spacing between trees or just input the number of trees per acre/hectare. If trees have been thinned out but the emitters were left uncapped then leave the old spacing for calculation purposes. If your trees’ canopies do not cover 65% of the ground then input the number of trees and then the area within the circumference of the individual trees. The calculator will work well for any other crop; just input the corresponding Crop coefficient (Kc).

There are certain values you need to know:

Don't bother with this number if you intend to use a fixed LR, such as 10%, as mentioned above.

The following formula is for full grown trees with a canopy ground cover exceeding 65%.

A more detailed explanation with some advanced calculations follows:

((ETo X Kc / DU) X 27,154 gal per acre inch / number trees per acre / sprinkler output in gallons per hour)) +10% LR = hours of water needed per tree per day.


Evapotranspiration of crop = Evapotranspiration number from CIMIS data (ETo) X crop coefficient from table (Kc) (closest day or the average ETo for the previous week)

ET crop = ETo X Kc

This will give you the evapotranspiration in inches for your avocado tree.

Distribution Uniformity (DU) of the irrigation system, from soil conservation analysis or 70% if you are not sure. (If your grove is located on hilly terrain with no pressure regulators, DU will surely be low).

ETc = ETo X Kc / DU

For example: if the source for ETo is .22 and the coefficient for the month is .86 and the Distribution Uniformity DU is 85% then your ETc (Evapotranspiration coefficient) is as follows:

ETc = (0.22 X .86) / 0.85 = 0.223 inch

There are 27,154 gallons per acre inch. When multiplied out, the water requirement when ETo = .22 inch (ETc = .223 inches) would be as follows:

.223 inch X 27,154 gal/acre inch = 6,055 gal/acre

If your tree spacing is 20' X 20' then you have approximately 109 trees per acre (this does not account for roads and pads). Thus :

6,055 gal/acre / 109 trees/acre = 56 gal/tree

In most areas there is a need for leaching as a result of salt buildup mostly from your irrigation water. The leaching fraction could be calculated using the formula:

LR = ECw / (5(Ece) - ECw)

If you prefer not to do this calculation, a 10% LR is reasonable to assume. You can also look up the data in the table for leaching fraction at the end of these instructions.

Thus if your irrigation requirement per tree per day is 56 gallons, then a 10% LR will add another 5.6 gal/tree to a total of about 62 gal/tree (you can multiply your resulting water requirement by 110% or 1.1 to get the same result). If your sprinkler output is 17 gallons per hour then your irrigation schedule should be 62 gal/tree / 17 gal/hr = 3.6 hours per tree per day.

* It is important, during rainfall months that rain events greater than 1/4 inch are subtracted from ETo.

CIMIS Calculator by: Reuben Hofshi, Shanti Hofshi, and Ben Faber