Automated drip irrigation scheduling for maximizing water use efficiency

Maximizing irrigation water use efficiency and utilization of solar energy with drip irrigation systems is essential to irrigate greenhouses for horticultural crops production.

In a new study, a field experiment was carried out in the Horticultural Farm, Faculty of Agriculture, Kafrelsheikh University (Latitude 31° 15´ 47´´ N, Longitude 30° 57´ 14´´ E) with an elevation of about (6 meters above sea level), Kafrelsheikh Governorate, Egypt during growing season 2016 from 1st April to 22nd June (spring cycle) and 1st July to 20th September (summer cycle) in the same season.

The presented study included three different of total water requirements (0.8, 1.0 and 1.2) evapotranspiration (ETc) and three irrigation frequency of applied one time per day at 7.00 a.m. (F1); two times per day at (7.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m.) (F2) and three times per day at (7.00 a.m., 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m.) (F3). Solar energy was used to operate drip irrigation automatically in order to produce cucumber growth inside a Spanish greenhouse.

The mean values of Emitter Flow Variation (qver), Manufacture's Coefficient of Variation (C.V), Emission Uniformity (EU), Christiansen Uniformity Coefficient (CU) and Distribution Uniformity (DU) were 9.48, 0.05, 90.26, 96.25 and 95.29 %, respectively.

The results indicated that, by increasing of irrigation frequency tended to increase both of fruit yield, fruit weight and irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE) in two cycles, in the spring cycle they were greater than in the summer cycle at all treatments. The highest values of fruit weight and fruit yield were (2.61 kg/plant) and (6.95 kg/m2), respectively was found at 1.2 ETc and irrigation frequency of F3 during the spring cycle. The maximum value of IWUE (9.32 kg/m3) was found at 0.8 ETc and irrigation frequency of F3 during spring cycle.

Access the full study at ResearchGate.

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