Scientific research

Fertigation for optimization of nutritional regime

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Application of mineral fertilizers (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) and weed / pest-killer chemicals in a liquid state, combining with irrigations, substantially enhances their efficacy.

Brief summary of technology:

Crop yields on irrigated land depend on the efficiency of fertilizers, chemical ameliorants, pesticides, herbicides. Fertilizing in liquid form substantially reduces unproductive losses of active substances (due to complete digestibility by plants) and enhances land and water productivity. A method of application of liquid fertilizers (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, trace elements), herbicides and pesticides was named fertigation, and combination of irrigation (irrigation with fertilizer application) is named irrigational fertigation due to complex effects on soil processes.

In principle, fertigation method with irrigational fertigation excludes the negative impact of chemicals on the environment already in the initial stage. Low-concentration nutritional solution (0.1-0.3%) accumulates in the root zone and is absorbed by plants up to 99% (compared to 60% absorption when dry mineral fertilizers are applied).

Advanced technology of integrated soil wetting has advantages of applying irrigational fertigation because it contributes to a more productive use of irrigation water and nutrients per unit of crop yields. The technology eliminates the removal of nutrients beyond the irrigated areas into the drainage network, as well as into the low-lying areas or into deeper soil layers.

Location: “Kenenbay” farm, Sokuluk district, Chuy province.

Area of technology application: 10 ha.

Stage of intervention: alleviation / reduction of land degradation, management of fertility regime.

Main land use issues and the main causes of land degradation:

Low efficiency of mineral fertilizer use and environmental pollution.

Main technical features of technology:

Prevention of loss of the active elements in mineral fertilizers, improving soil nutrient regime.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Irrigated arable land.

Cultivation of annual crops - Во(Ca).

Agronomic and irrigation measures.


Habitat Anthropogenic environment

Average annual rainfall: 422-616 mm.

Altitude (meter above sea level): 800-1200 m.

Landscape: foothill slopes.

Slope (%): 7-15%.

Soil fertility: average.

Humus content in arable horizon: 1.5%.

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: average.

Size of land area (ha): 2-5 ha.

Landholder: small/medium-sized, mixed.

Land ownership: arable land - 75%, individual land - 25%, grassland belongs to government.

Water use rights: through water user associations (WUA), and state manage the irrigation systems on relevant payment.

Market orientation: subsistence economy (selfsupport), free market.


Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- excludes unproductive losses of mineral fertilizers;

- preserves environment from pollution;

- improves fertilizer digestion by plants;

- improves soil productivity;

- there is no need to use machinery to broadcast fertilizers;

- mechanization of all operations for fertilizer application.

Main disadvantages:

- in addition, preparation of the nutrient solutions, and tanks with measuring feeder is required.

Acceptance/adoption of technology:

Reference(s): WOCAT and reports of Kyrgyzstan scientific RI of irrigation.

Name of person(s) collected this description: Naloychenko A., Leading researcher; A.Atakanov, Head of the laboratory of irrigation and soil-erosion studies. Kyrgyz Scientific RI of Irrigation. 4A, Toktonalieva, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Tel.: +996 (312) 541 171.




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