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Intermittent Water Application through Surface and Subsurface Drip Irrigation

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  052216,  2005 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.19160) @2005
Authors:   Panagiotis Vyrlas, Maria Sakellariou-Makrantonaki
Keywords:   Drip irrigation, subsurface drip, intermittent irrigation, pulsed irrigation, sugar beet

Intermittent water application allows reducing mean irrigation rate to a level which coincides with soil's hydraulic conductivity and minimizes percolation below the main root zone. Field experiment was conducted to confirm the efficiency of this approach, in a clay loam soil. The treatments consisted of two irrigation systems (surface and subsurface drip), and two methods of water application (continuous and intermittent).

Drip piping with 0.8-m emitter spacing was placed on the soil surface in the middle of alternative plant rows. Laterals with the same characteristics were buried at 0.45 m in the subsurface plots.

The moisture distribution in the soil one day after irrigation, measured by time domain reflectometry instrumentation, indicated that intermittent application in both surface and subsurface plots produced wider wetted patterns.

Intermittent or pulsed drip irrigation application has proven its potential to improve sugar beet yield. The results demonstrate that plots irrigated by intermittent application exceeded the continuous irrigated ones in terms of root yield and sugar content.

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