Scientific research

Improved furrow irrigation method on flat land

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Irrigation begins along the compacted furrows (into every second furrow). As the ends of irrigation furrows are closed, irrigation streams unite at the end of an irrigated field and overflow of irrigation

water occurs automatically from more compacted to less compacted furrows located between the compacted furrows.

Brief summary of technology:

During soil processing with inter-row spaces of 90 cm, tractor wheels pass along the three furrows: big wheels along the farthest furrows and a small wheel between them. Thus two types of furrows differing on the degree of compaction are formed.

Speed of irrigation water movement along these furrows also differs.

Time of irrigation stream movement up to the end of the furrow on the less compacted furrow is 1.2-1.5 times higher than on the compacted.

According to the suggested technology, an irrigation stream is first supplied into the compacted furrows. Upon reaching the end of the furrows, two irrigation streams unite increasing 1.1-1.3 times in volume, and automatically flow back along the less compacted furrows located between the compacted ones. Thus, irrigation begins on the compacted furrows and finishes when the united irrigation streams having flown back, reach the beginning  of the furrow (Fig. 1).

Irrigators monitor only a uniformity of water distribution in furrows in the beginning of a field being irrigated. Labor productivity increases 1.8-2.0 times as there is no need to check reaching water streams the end of a furrow, and additionally to connect irrigation streams into newly irrigated furrows. The irrigation norm is evenly distributed over an irrigated field, and coefficient of uniformity of soil moisture distribution increase to 0.76-0.82, water use efficiency in the field to 0.79-0.87. Deep filtration during irrigation decreases by 17-28%.

In the suggested technology, it is recommended to irrigate only along the compacted furrows (into every second furrow) at an inter-row spacing of 60 cm (Fig. 2). Loose furrows are left dry.

Because of a short distance with the compacted irrigation furrows, loose furrows are also wetted and therefore cotton roots do not suffer from a lack of moisture.

The suggested technology was tested on slopeless fields of the Dashoguz province. In the absence of slope, water movement of takes place due to a hydraulic pressure of water in a furrow. In gentle and slopeless furrows soil breaking does not occur and therefore the optimal rates of water can be higher.

Location: Dashoguz province.

Area of technology application: 2-100 ha.

Stage of intervention: Prevention / mitigation of land degradation, improvement of vegetative cover.

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

Non-observance of optimal elements of technique and technology of furrow irrigation leads to high water losses in the irrigation fields, to shallow groundwater levels, soil salinization and deterioration of ameliorative land conditions.

Main technical features of technology:

Decrease of unproductive water losses during irrigation, saving of irrigation water, increased uniformity of soil moisture, improvement of a vegetative soil cover, increase of water use efficiency.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Irrigated arable land.

Annual crops - Во(Ca).

Agronomic measures:

A3: Processing of soil surface.



Average annual rainfall: 170-290 mm.

Altitude (meter above sea level): 390 m.

Landscape: flat, desert.

Slope (%): 0.2-0.4%.

Soil fertility: below average and average.

Humus content in arable horizon: 0.4-1.1%.

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: good.

Anthropogenic environment

Size of land area (ha): 1-10 ha.

Landholder: farmers and tenants.

Land ownership: own use, rent.

Water use rights: state water use.

Market orientation: market orientation.


Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- reduces expenses and increases labor productivity of irrigators;

- reduces water losses during irrigation;

- improves soil moisture uniformity along the field length;

- increases water use efficiency.

Main disadvantages:

- this technology is applicable only on slopeless irrigated land.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: farmers and tenants recognized usefulness of this technology, and therefore the area of its application in farms increases every year.

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

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

Address: 15, Bitarap Turkmenistan Avenue, 744000 Ashkhabad.

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





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