Scientific research

Subsoil irrigation system with near-root humidifiers for horticultural crops

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Water is supplied a defined soil layer from the humidifiers established in a zone of bulk of crop roots (in the depth of 50-70 cm), which provides stable optimal soil moisture replenishment during the whole irrigation period.

Brief summary of technology:

The near-root moisture providing system operates by a principle of subsoil irrigation system based on absorbing ability of the soil.

The system consists of the distributive pipeline of O 70-120 mm and branch pipes with a step equal to the inter-row spacing, which are connected with polyethylene irrigation tubes of O 16-32 mm. Humidifiers are placed directly under the trees in a depth of 50-70 cm, in a zone of the bulk of roots. Water from the irrigation tubes is supplied to the humidifiers through small tubes of O 6-8 cm and further to the soil through openings of O 1,5-2,1 mm.

Humidifiers are wrapped up with filters to avoid clogging of openings.

The near-root moisture providing system almost completely excludes evaporation from the soil surface. Humidifiers saturate the soil with moisture, and therefore the optimum moisture of the soil during the inter-irrigation period is easily supported. And the near-root moist soil layer is completely leaching of harmful salts.

The suggested near-root moisture system is used for irrigation of fruit crops on saline land of the Balkan province. The system is completely mechanized and automated. In comparison with other irrigation techniques best conditions for effective operation of agricultural machinery are created due to the absence of irrigation network on the soil surface. Labor inputs during irrigation are minimized, water losses for evaporation are almost excluded, water use efficiency reaches 0.95, and careful leveling of the soil surface is not required.

Location: Balkan, Akhal, Lebap and Mary provinces.

Area of technology application: 100 ha.

Stage of intervention: prevention/mitigation of land degradation.

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

Because of non-observance of agrotechnical actions and non-compliance of optimum irrigation regime of garden crops, the ecological and ameliorative land conditions worsen, productivity falls, pests causing a significant damage to gardeners increase.

Main technical features of technology:

Optimal water-salt regime of a root zone, improvement of a vegetative cover, saving of irrigation water.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Irrigated perennial crops.

Production of trees and bushes - Вд(Ct).

Water saving.



Average annual rainfall: 210-320 mm.

Altitude (meter above sea level): 460-590 m.

Landscape: flat and mountainous.

Slope (%): 1-8%.

Soil fertility: below average and average.

Humus content in arable horizon: 0.5-1.6%.

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: average.

Anthropogenic environment

Size of land area (ha): 2-50 ha.

Landholder: farmers and tenants.

Land ownership: own use, rent.

Water use rights: state water use.

Market orientation: free market orientation.


Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- applicable even in strongly saline land under high water deficit;

- Labor inputs during irrigation are minimized;

- water losses for evaporation are almost excluded;

- water use efficiency reaches 0.95;

- careful land leveling is not required;

- ecologically pure system;

- durable in operation;

- absence of irrigation network on field surface creates conditions for effective operation of agricultural machinery.

Main disadvantages:

- the investment of additional resources is required.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: farmers started to apply this system to irrigate gardens in places where it is impossible to produce other agricultural crops because of deficit of irrigation water.

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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