The relationship between canopy temperature and soil moisture is particularly important because of using canopy temperature as an indicator of crop water stress. A field experiment was conducted to calculate crop water stress index (CWSI) of two canola cultivars including RGS and Sarigol at College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of Darab, Shiraz University, Iran during 2013-2014 growing season. Irrigation regimes consisted of well watered [Irrigation equal to 100% field capacity (FC)], light drought (75% FC), moderate drought (50% FC), and severe drought (25% FC) stresses which were arranged in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. In RGS and Sarigol, CWSI values showed an increasing trend from March (0.066 and 0.093 in well watered) to June (0.711 and 0.821 in severe drought) respectively, as a result of higher vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and increase in canopy-air temperature differences (Tc-Ta).In both cultivars, when the air temperature increased from March to June, Tc-Ta increased. The highest monthly average value of CWSI for all treatments was obtained in June. By increasing the drought stress, the color grading score decreased from 6 to 2 sharply in May and June. An acceptable color quality (6 -5) was sustained in May, under light drought condition. Also, a negative relationship was observed between CWSI with color quality (R2=0.94**) and grain yield (R2=0.97**). It could be concluded that in semi-arid areas, light drought is the best option for canola production while mean seasonal CWSI being ranged about 0.198 to 0.294 without any loss in visual color quality of canola.
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