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Evaluation of surge flow furrow irrigation for onion production in a semiarid region of Ethiopia

Evaluation of surge flow furrow irrigation for onion production in a semiarid region of Ethiopia

Irrigation Science 26(4): 325-333

The study was conducted to evaluate surge irrigation against continuous irrigation in terms of irrigation and water use efficiencies to produce onion. It was carried out at Mekelle Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopia on 70 m long and 0.6 m center-center spacing furrows of 0.26% average slope on a clay soil. The treatments consisted of factorial combination of two discharges (Q (1) = 1 l/s and Q (2) = 2 l/s) and three-cycle ratios (CR1 = 1/3, CR2 = 1/2, and C = 1 for continuous irrigation). Surge flow treatments advanced faster than the respective continuous flow treatments with surge flow treatment SF21 being the fastest. The best value of application efficiency (60%) was achieved for SF11 and the least (46%) for CF2. The maximum (87%) and minimum (68%) values of distribution uniformity were obtained for cycle ratios CR1 and C, respectively. Storage efficiency was highest (89%) for CF2 and lowest (78%) for SF12. Onion yield was significantly affected (p < 0.05) by the interaction effect, the highest (14,400 kg/ha) and the lowest (13,363 kg/ha) yields were obtained for SF11 and SF21, respectively. The maximum irrigation water use efficiency (2.27 kg/m(3)) was observed for SF11 and the minimum (1.68 kg/m(3)) for CF2. Surge irrigation was found to be a promising irrigation practice for onion production in the study area as it saves water, reduces irrigation period, and increases the crop yield.

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Accession: 020998676

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DOI: 10.1007/s00271-007-0096-6

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