Scientific research

Cotton irrigation by furrows screened by perforated polyethylene film

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Irrigation of cotton by furrows, screened by the perforated polyethylene film, essentially reduces water losses through evaporation, gaseous losses of nitrogen from mineral fertilizers and

prevents development of weed vegetation.

Brief summary of technology:

A black polyethylene film with a thickness of 10-12 microns is laid during a cotton budding phase by a film-laying machinery along the width of inter-row spaces into every other inter-row spacing.

Openings for water outflow are made with a diameter of 6-7 mm with a step of 1 m along a film axis simultaneously with laying and burying of the film edges.

The film is produced by “Dzhizakplastmassa” LTD. An experimental batch of the film-laying machinery (10 units) were made by “Chirchikselmash” production plant. Screening of furrows reduces moisture evaporation by 30-40% and gaseous losses of nitrogen from mineral fertilizers by 10-15%.

Weed vegetation does not develop under a black film and therefore the need for carrying out inter-row processing is eliminated.

This reduces fuel consumption by 20-30% and emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Reduction of tillage passes of a  tractor protects the soil from compaction, preserving optimal water-physical soil properties, reduces losses of carbon.

Location: administrative provinces of Uzbekistan.

Area of technology application:

50 ha in 2013, 45000 ha in 2014.

Stage of intervention: mitigation of land degradation.

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

Irrigational erosion, secondary soil salinization, decrease of fertility

Main technical features of technology:

Reduction of water losses through evaporation and gaseous nitrogen, decrease of greenhouse gas emission and carbon emissions from the soil into the atmosphere.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Irrigated arable land.

Production of cotton - Во(Ca).

Agronomic measures:

А1: Vegetation / soil cover.



Average annual rainfall: 200-420 mm.

Altitude (meter above sea level): 300-400 m.

Landscape: plain.

Slope (%): 0-2% (10).

Soil fertility: low, moderate.

Humus content in arable horizon: 0.8-1.5%.

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: moderate.

Anthropogenic environment

Size of land area (ha): 40-50 ha.

Landholder: farm.

Land ownership: long term lease.

Water use rights: through WUAs and irrigation management bodies.

Market orientation: Mixed farming (subsistence and commercial).


Influence of technology

Main advantages:

- irrigating water saving by 30-40%;

- prevention of irrigational erosion;

- improvement of water physical soil properties;

- reduction of appearance of soil crusts / compaction by 50-70%;

- productivity increase by 10-20% and farm income by 15-20%;

- reduction of costs by 5-10%;

- reduction of work load by 15-20%;

- increase of soil moisture by 10-15%;

- decrease of loss of soil carbon by 15-20%.

Main disadvantages:

- high expenditure of polymeric film;

- process of removing a film from a field is not mechanized;

- need for utilization of the used film;

- lack of knowledge of a long term influence of a film covering of the soil on soil fertility due to a violation of the gas exchange with the atmosphere.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: The technology was included into the State programs of the Republic of Uzbekistan on water saving, support of private enterprises is required.


1. The patent of Uzbekistan No. 3458, 1995 “Method of crop irrigation”.

2. Bezborodov G. A., Bezborodov N. A. Influence of soil mulching in cotton inter-row spacing on agrocenosis elements of cotton field//AGRO ILM, No.2, 2009, p. 10-12.

3. Bezborodov N. A. 1999. Resource-saving technology of irrigation under soil mulching. “Agrosanoat ahboroti”, Tashkent, 1999, 176 p.

Name of person(s) collected this description: Prof. Ma`ruf Tashkuziyev, State research institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry.

Address: 3, Kamarniso str., Tashkent.

Tel.: +998 71-227 13 99; +998 90-997 57 84.





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