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Assessing irrigation scheme water use and farmers' performance using wireless telemetry systems

AuthorsLorite, Ignacio J. ; Santos, Cristina; García Vila, Margarita ; Carmona, M. Ascensión; Fereres Castiel, Elías
Issue DateOct-2013
CitationComputers and Electronics in Agriculture 98: 193-204 (2013)
AbstractAssessing irrigation performance is essential for judicious water management in agriculture. A wireless telemetry system was used to collect water use records at the individual field level during two irrigation seasons in the Genil - Cabra Irrigation Scheme (GCIS), Spain. A total of 1365 plots were monitored, encompassing around 7500. ha devoted mainly to wheat, olive, cotton, sunflower, garlic and maize, and served by an on-demand pressurized irrigation system. Substantial variability in field water usage among farmers was detected in the irrigation management of different crops within the GCIS, based on the detailed water use records. The variability detected within each crop included variations in the amount of water use as well as in the timing of water applications. Using the information provided by the telemetry system, a new graphical irrigation performance assessment based on variability analysis is proposed. Finally, in an attempt to explain the observed variability, interviews were carried out with farmers and their responses indicated that much of the variability was caused by variations in their approaches to deficit irrigation. In the case of olive orchards, tree age was an important element explaining the variability in water amounts. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.compag.2013.08.007
issn: 0168-1699
Appears in Collections:(IAS) Artículos
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