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Low cost drip irrigation: Impact on sugarcane yield, water and energy saving in semiarid tropical agro ecosystem in India

Low cost drip irrigation: Impact on sugarcane yield, water and energy saving in semiarid tropical agro ecosystem in India

Science of the Total Environment 573: 1430-1440

Low cost drip irrigation (LCDI) has been a recent introduction to India and it may be an inexpensive means of expanding irrigation into uncultivated areas, thereby increasing land productivity. This paper is structured into two phases. The first phase, presents an assessment of different irrigation methods (LCDI, conventional drip irrigation (CDI) with single row and paired row, siphon and flood irrigation) on sugarcane production. The results showed that cane yield and water productivity was significantly increased in both plant and ratoon crop of sugarcane owing to the methods of irrigation. Among the methods, LCDI recorded 118.6tha-1 of cane yield and it was on par with the single row CDI, which recorded the highest mean yield of 120.4tha-1 and both are found to be significantly superior to the rest of the treatments. The lowest yield was recorded in the treatment of flood irrigation (94.40tha-1). Benefit Cost Ratio analysis confirmed that LCDI performed better compared to other irrigation methods. The second phase deals with the farmer participatory research demonstrations at multi location on evaluation of LCDI with flood irrigation. LCDI out performed flood irrigation under all the locations in terms of sugarcane yield, soil moisture content, postharvest soil fertility, reduction in nutrient transport to surface and ground water, water and energy saving. These results suggest that LCDI is a feasible option to increase the sugarcane production in water scarcity areas of semiarid agro ecosystems, and have long-term sustained economic benefits than flood irrigation in terms of water productivity, energy saving and environmental sustainability.

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Accession: 058241422

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PMID: 27476728

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.144

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