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Control of furrow erosion with crop residues and surge flow irrigation

, : Control of furrow erosion with crop residues and surge flow irrigation. Soil Science Society of America Journal 51(2): 421-425

Crop residues in irrigation furrows reduce erosion, but also increase infiltration rates. High infiltration rates decrease uniformity of irrigation along a furrow. Surge flow improves irrigation uniformity during furrow-stream advance because the stream advances at about the same rate as with continuous flow, but requires only about one-half as much water to reach the end of a furrow. Experiments were conducted to evaluate the combined effects of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and corn (Zea mays L.) residues and surge flow irrigation on furrow erosion and irrigation uniformity. Larger than normal furrow streams (up to 30 L min -1) were used with surge flow to obtain rapid stream advance. Sediment discharge with such large streams was reduced from > 100 Mg ha-1 d-1 from bare furrors to about 1 Mg ha-1 d-1 from furrows containing 2 Mg ha-1 of residue. Differences in erosion between surged and continuous furrow streams were small compared to those due to residues in the furrows. Residues grown in place were more effective in reducing erosion than were residues hand-placed in clean furrows.

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