Programme  Poster session 4  abstract 140


Author(s): Efficient use of irrigation water in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L)
Author(s): Rafael Figueroa- Viramontes, Salvador Berumen-Padilla Salvador, Cirilo Vazquez-Vazquez, Ignacio Orona- Castillo Ignacio, J. José Martínez-Ríos, J. Dimas López-Martínez, Enrique Salazar-Sosa

Keyword(s): Alfalfa, dry forage yield, growth analysis, irrigation depth, water saving.

Article: abs140_article.doc
Poster: abs140_poster.pdf
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Session: Poster session 4
AbstractLa Laguna region, which is located at the Northern part of Mexico at

26° N latitude and 103° W longitude, undergoes an important water scarcity due to the amount of water extracted

from the subsurface aquifer is around 40 % higher of that entering into the aquifer. In turn, this causes a decreasing in

water availability for different uses, such as domestic, industry and agriculture. Is in the last use where around 85 %

of water extracted is applied. However, the level of irrigation efficiency is not as high as needed for preserving this

important natural resource. Based on this problem, a field experiment was carried out in order to obtain information

regarding to irrigation water saving using subsurface drip irrigation in comparison to the traditional surface irrigation

method; and about growth and yield of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) under subsurface drip irrigation conditions. Four

irrigatión depths were evaluated. These were calculated from pan evaporation readings (EV) using four percentages,

50, 65, 80, and 100 %. Treatments were allocated in the field and statistically analyzed based on a randomized

complete block design with four replications. Specific differences between treatments were calculated using the

Duncan method (p= 0.05). Irrigation was applied twice per week using the subsurface drip method. Accumulated

dry matter of six harvests of alfalfa (cv. Excelente) was analyzed. Likewise, four plant growth variables, leaf area

index (LAI), net assimilation rate (NAR), relative growth rate (RGR), and crop growth rate (CGR) were measured.

Both, total irrigation water applied and water saving in comparison to the surface irrigation method, were also

measured. Water saving was obtained from the treatments that received less than 100 % of the EV at levels of 43.9,

32.0 y 19.4 % for the 50, 65 y 80 % EV treatments, respectively. Both, NAR and CGR resulted higher in the

treatment that received the highest irrigation depth, whereas the level of LAI and RGR did not vary throughout the

range of irrigation depth studied. Crop dry matter was higher at the most irrigated treatment (20.82 ton ha-1). As

compared to the average commercial dry forage yield with surface irrigation in the Comarca Lagunera, all of the

treatments produced a higher value.

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