Effects of subsurface drip irrigation and furrow irrigation management on water productivity, growth and yield variables and root distribution in sugarcane cultivation

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Ph.D. in Water Engineering, Irrigation and Drainage, Director of Agricultural Research Group, Sugarcane Research and Training Institute., Iran.

2 Professor Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran


Introduction: Sugarcane fields of south west of Iran have heavy soil texture, high temperatures, and hot dry wind in spring and summer. Hydro-flume gated pipes were used for irrigation. Furrow irrigation was used in sugarcane fields. Considering the lack of water in Iran, efforts to improve the irrigation efficiency and water productivity can be promising.
Materials and Methods: In the present study, the effect of drip lateral installation depths and emitter spacing on sugarcane crop water productivity and its yield was studied by installing laterals at 15, 20 and 30 cm depths from surface, while the emitters were spaced at 50, 60 and 75 cm. A factorial experiment in the form of randomly complete block design was carried out at the Sugarcane Research and Training Institute of Khuzestan in south-west of Iran. Study aimed to investigate the effect of subsurface drip irrigation on LAI (Leaf Area Index), yield and root distribution for sugarcane compared to the conventional irrigation. Two fields were investigated one field with subsurface drip irrigation and one field with conventional irrigation studied as control. Three measurement stations were selected in each field. The results were statistically analyzed. Number of plants, number of green leaves, leaf length and width over one meter were counted and measured six times at 91, 99, 105, 112, 119 and 128 days after harvesting, respectively. For comparison of root growth, one plant from each treatment was selected and thoroughly studied by root skeletal drilling.
Results: Number of Leaf and leaf length and leaf width were not significantly different in both irrigations. The number of stems and leaf area index in subsurface drip irrigation had significant difference with irrigation in levels of 95 and 99 percent, respectively. The mean of leaf area index in subsurface drip irrigation and furrow irrigation were 4.1 and 2.7, respectively, and this index, in the subsurface drip irrigation was 34% higher than the average of furrow irrigation. The active depth of preservative roots was up to 120 and 143 cm vertically and horizontally in subsurface drip irrigation and up to 100 and 104 cm in furrow irrigation, respectively. These indicates that the roots in subsurface drip irrigation are about 17% and 27% deeper and wider than furrow irrigation, and also were finer and deeper than the furrow irrigation. In subsurface and furrow drip irrigation, about 96% and 98% of the vertical roots, respectively, were propagated at a depth of 60 cm. Sugarcane quantity specifications results showed there was significant difference between treatments in terms of drip emitter spacing and lateral installation depths and their interactions at 1percent probability level. Similar trends were also observed in case of quality traits of sugarcane. Investigating the water productivity index for sugarcane and sugar yield, it showed that treatments were significant in terms of the space between emitters at one percent probability level.
Conclusions: The maximum sugarcane yield was observed in the treatment with a space between emitters of 50, and 20 cm of installation depth. The highest Water Productivity for sugarcane and sugar production was 7.18 and 0.87 kg/m3 at space the emitters of 60 cm and the installation depth of application of 20 cm. Finally, according to results and considering the other conditions, with the space of 50 cm and 20 cm the installation depth of emitters was suggested.


Main Subjects

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