Evaluating Irrigation Scheduling Efficiency of Paddy Rice and Berseem Fodder Crops in Sandy Loam Soil

K. S. Hari Prasad, Samuel D. Hatiye, Chandra S. P. Ojha, G. S. Kaushika, Adebayo Adeloye

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In this study, irrigation scheduling efficiency of two field crops; paddy rice and berseem fodder, grown in unpuddled
sandy loam soil for a typical existing and imposed irrigations has been evaluated using the WINISAREG water balance
and irrigation scheduling model that was calibrated and validated using data collected at field experimental plot in
Roorkee, India. During the 1st season of each crop, typical irrigation schedules as practiced in the farmers’ field was
followed while in the 2nd crop season, a reduced irrigation schedule was imposed aiming for water saving. Water
balance components were monitored daily during the crop growth periods. Deep percolation was measured using
drainage type lysimeters. Soil moisture content in the root zone was observed using soil moisture profile probe (PR2/6).
The crops were provided with all the necessary inputs including fertilizer, pesticide and weeding operations following
agronomic practices of the area. The results show that nearly 82-87% of the input water goes to deep percolation
during paddy season-1 (continuous irrigation period) while 64%-70% of input water was lost through deep percolation
during berseem season-1. Due to the imposed irrigation, the deep percolation has been reduced to nearly 78-80%
of input water during paddy season-2 and 42-52% of input water during berseem season-2 besides large input water
saving in the crop seasons. The large input water saving was due to alternative irrigation scheduling strategy whose
efficiency has been significantly improved. Irrigation scheduling efficiency has been increased from 9.65% to 30.5% for
paddy and 23% to 92% for berseem. In particular, comparative irrigation water saving of 64-74% in paddy season and
82-88% in berseem season was achieved with nominal yield penalty. This study shows the possibility of large volume
of water saving in water intensive crops such as paddy rice and berseem fields under un-puddled sandy loam soils by
considering a reduced irrigation scheduling option.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIrrigation and Drainage Systems Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Berseem
  • Deep percolation
  • Irrigation scheduling


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