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Assessing low-pressure solid-set sprinkler irrigation in maize

AuthorsRobles Rovelo, Octavio; Cavero Campo, José CSIC ORCID ; Playán Jubillar, Enrique CSIC ORCID ; Zapata Ruiz, Nery CSIC ORCID
Sprinkler irrigation
Energy efficiency
Low pressure sprinklers
Maize yield
Issue DateSep-2017
CitationRobles O, Cavero J, Playán E, Zapata N. Assessing low-pressure solid-set sprinkler irrigation in maize. Agricultural Water Management 191: 37-49 (2017)
AbstractWater and energy are limited and expensive resources. Conserving water and energy is a requirement to ensure the viability of modern pressurized irrigation systems. The objective of this research was to analyze the possibilities of reducing the nozzle operating pressure of impact sprinklers from 300 kPa (standard pressure) to 200 kPa (low pressure) in solid-set irrigation systems without reducing the sprinkler spacing and maintaining crop yield. Three treatments resulting from combinations of sprinkler type, and working pressure were analyzed: 1) Conventional impact sprinkler operating at 300 kPa (CIS300); 2) Conventional impact sprinkler operating at 200 kPa (CIS200); and 3) Modified deflecting plate impact sprinkler operating at 200 kPa (DPIS200). A randomized experimental design was applied to a maize crop during two seasons (2015 and 2016). Irrigation performance was measured by catch-can monitoring at one replicate of each treatment. Maize growth, yield and its components were measured. Differences between treatments in soil water, maize growth and yield variables were analyzed using ANOVA. Seasonal irrigation uniformity evaluated at the top of the canopy was larger for the standard pressure treatment (93%) than for the low pressure treatments (82% and 84% for DPIS200 and CIS200, respectively). The average wind drift and evaporation losses for the 2016 irrigation season were higher for the CIS300 treatment (17%) than for the low pressure treatments, DPIS200 (15%) and CIS200 (13%). Low pressure treatments did not reduce grain yield compared with the standard pressure treatment. Differences in irrigation performance and maize yield between the low pressure treatments, DPIS200 and CIS200, were not statistically significant. The reduction in energy use by reducing the operating pressure from 300 kPa to 200 kPa would allow to increase the net farming benefit of individual and collective systems. This is particularly true if low pressure irrigation is considered at the design phase of the irrigation system.
Description42 Pags.- 5 Tabls.- 8 Figs. The definitive version is available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03783774
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2017.06.001
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