The aim of this work was to evaluate the growth of sesame BRS 196 CNPA G4 in different irrigation depths (305, 436, 567 and 698 mm), applied on the basis of crop evapotranspiration– ETc (the depth of 567 mm was equal to 100% ETc). It was conducted at Embrapa Cotton, in Barbalha County, Ceará State, Brazil, 2012. The experiment was in randomized blocks, with treatments distributed in plots with three replications. The ETc was calculated by multiplying the reference evapotranspiration (ETo), determined by the Penman-Monteith method, by the crop coefficients (Kc), recommended for each phenological stage of the crop and by FAO. For the other irrigation treatments, the ETc was multiplied by 0.4, 0.7 and 1.3 (40, 70 and 130% of ETc). Primarily, height, stem diameter, leaf area and leaf area index were measured at 27, 48, 69 and 90 Days After Emergence (DAE), and then the absolute and relative growth rates in height, stem diameter and leaf area were estimated. It was concluded that height, stem diameter, leaf area and leaf area index of sesame BRS 196 CNPA G4 increased with irrigation; the highest growth occurred until 70 or 75 DAE, and the greatest growth was obtained, in general, in 698 mm of irrigation depth.
Key words: Sesamum indicum L., evapotranspiration, growth rates, water stress.
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