Scientific research

Sowing of cotton in the bottom of irrigation furrows

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Cotton is sown into the bottom of the original furrow, irrigation applications are carried out by alternating irrigation furrows with newly created furrows in place of the ridges.

Brief summary of technology:

Under furrow irrigation of moderately saline soils, salinization of the crests takes place due to capillary uplift of salts from furrows to the crests. The bottom of the furrow remain non-saline. The technology offers the use of the leached bottom of the furrows by sowing seeds in their bottoms, which allows saving water needed for leaching.

During the budding stage of plants, irrigation furrows are made in place of the ridges leading to a creation of the ridges with two crests in place of the former furrow. For easy passage of the tractor wheels and to facilitate the planting in the furrows, the following furrow cross-sections are recommended (see Fig. 1.).

Furrow cross-sections of different depths are created by setting furrow-making machinery at 45 cm at different levels from the top of the plow layer. The distance between the deep furrows is 90 cm. After making the cross-sections, moisture-replenishing irrigations are conducted in deep furrows (16-18 cm). After the soil in the furrows is ripened, harrowing is carried out using a special harrow for furrows. Tractor wheels move along the small furrows, and harrows move in deep furrows. After a harrowing is performed, cotton is sowed in the bottom of the irrigation furrows.

When the furrow-making machinery moves along the furrow ridges, the ridges with two crests are formed due to the earth thrown on both sides of the furrow-maker. The cotton plants are located between these newly formed ridges. The bottom of the furrows is located in 5-7 cm below the upper limit of the arable layer. In this regard, the applied irrigation water is close to the root system of cotton. Moisture coming to plant roots evaporates less, since the root system is covered with a soil from the ridge.

Because the location of the bottom of the irrigation furrow is above the root zone, water flows to the roots under the influence of gravitational forces, thereby reducing the duration of watering by 28-31% as well as the water losses by 13-15%. If the soil moisture is sufficient, it is possible to conduct cotton sowing simultaneously with the primary cutting of the furrows. Further farming practices do not differ from the traditional ones.

Location: Lebap and Balkan provinces.

Area of technology application: 10-100 ha.

Stage of intervention: alleviation / reduction of land degradation, saving of irrigation water.

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

High irrigation water losses and low coefficient of fertilizer use. Soil compaction in the bottom of the irrigation furrow.

Main technical features of technology:

Improvement of water-salt regime of soils, efficient use of fertilizers.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Arable land.

Annual crops - Во(Ca).

Agronomic measures:

A3: Processing of the soil surface.


Habitat Anthropogenic environment

Average annual rainfall: 190-310 mm.

Altitude (meter above sea level): 470-790 m.

Landscape: valleys and mountains.

Slope (%): 1-4%.

Soil fertility: average.

Humus content in arable horizon: 0.5-1.5%.

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: average.

Size of land area (ha): 3-40 ha.

Landholder: farmers and tenants.

Land ownership: own users.

Water use rights: State water use.

Market orientation: Market orientation.


Impact of technology

Main advantages:

Irrigated fields are ecologically clean (not salinized).

Irrigation water absorbs into the soil more intensively, thereby increasing utilization of water.

Main disadvantages:

Not applicable for solonchak soils.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: This technology is used in Iran.

Reference(s): Reports and recommendations of the Turkmenistan Academy of Sciences.

Name of person(s) collected this description: A.S. Saparmyradov, Chief expert of the Department of Agriculture, the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan.

Address: 15, Bitarap avenue, Ashgabat744000, Turkmenistan.

Tel.: +993 12 94-30-60; Mob.: +993 65 63-71-15.





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