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University of Florida professor releases book on micro-irrigation design

A University of Florida professor and his colleague from the University of Jordan have published a book in which the two agricultural scientists impart the most up-to-date technology in micro irrigation.


 
Professor Emeritus Brian Boman, at the UF Indian River Research and Education Center near Fort Pierce, along with Anwar Battikhi, a professor of soil physics at the University of Jordan in Amman, have published, “Micro-Irrigation System Design, Operation and Maintenance Manual.”
 
“Although Dr. Battikhi and I have different, but complementary backgrounds and education, we have a strong desire to help improve production and efficiency of farmers, and thus their livelihoods,” said Boman “This effort is directed at farmers and micro irrigation practitioners throughout the world.”
 
Micro irrigation systems utilize low flow rate emitting devices, or emitters that apply water near or below the soil surface directly into the plant root zone. In so doing, these types of systems can achieve very high application efficiencies and conserve water by reducing evaporation and deep drainage compared to other types of irrigation such as flood or overhead sprinklers. Combined with fertigation, or application of fertilizers with the irrigation water, and automation.
 
“Micro irrigation allows farmers to “spoon feed” water and nutrients to plants precisely when the plants need them,” Boman said.
 
Used throughout the world, micro irrigation conserves both water and chemicals used to produce numerous commercial fruit, vine, nut, and vegetable and row crops,” said Battikhi. “This type of irrigation is used extensively in greenhouse production, ornamentals and landscape irrigation, Battikhi said.
 
Published in both English and Arabic languages, the textbook is 145 pages in English; 150, in Arabic. Boman said he and Battikhi wrote the book while Battikhi was on sabbatical from UJ. During that time, Battikhi served as a visiting scientist at UF, where he and Boman worked on projects where they applied science and irrigation engineering, as it pertains to micro irrigation. The book includes tables and color illustrations produced during the two scientists’ combined 80 years of experience working with tree, vine, row crop, and vegetable crop producers around the world. Arranged into three broad sections, the book covers the following three topics: 
  • Fundamental soil and plant water relations and driving factors for plant water use;
  • Estimating crop water use and when and how much to irrigate; and,
  • Basics of micro irrigation system design, operation and maintenance.
“Our book is directed to farmers, students and those contemplating micro irrigation, to give them an understanding of planning and using this irrigation technique,” said Battikhi.
 
Boman and Battikhi have each led distinguished careers that have elevated them to internationally sought-after scientists.
 
Battikhi is a recent recipient of “The Medal of Excellence in Education,” bestowed by His Majesty King Abdulla II, Jordan’s current President of the Jordan Society for Scientific Research. Highlighted with positions such as president of Hashemite University, Dean for Research at the University of Jordan, Battikhi’s 45-year career garnered a number of international awards for innovation and an unwavering focus on advancing crop production for food producers throughout the globe.

The new book is the third published by Dr. Boman. The first manual, “Water and Citrus: Use, Regulation, Irrigation, Systems and Management,” is still in use as an essential textbook, and earned the prestigious American Society of Agricultural Engineers Blue Ribbon Award. Boman contributed to 53 book chapters and edited five books.
 
For more information:
Robin Koestoyo
University of Florida/IFAS Indian River Research
Tel: +1 772 577 7366

Publication date: 4/18/2017

 


 

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