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150665 - Simple ETo-based rules for irrigation scheduling by smallholder vegetable farmers in Laos and Cambodia.pdf (1.3 MB)

Simple ETo-based rules for irrigation scheduling by smallholder vegetable farmers in Laos and Cambodia

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 08:50 authored by John McPheeJohn McPhee, Eberhard, J, Melland, A, Uddin, J, L Dunn, Hin, S, Lim, V, Touch, V, Sisouvanh, P, Somphou, I, Vilayphone, T, Mounsena, P, Stephen IvesStephen Ives
Hand-held hoses and watering cans are widely used by smallholder farmers to irrigate vegetables in Cambodia and Laos. Overwatering is common. Technology change (e.g., low-pressure drip irrigation) has been used to improve irrigation efficiency but can be unaffordable for many smallholder farmers. The purpose of this study was to identify an appropriate method of predicting crop water demand, develop and field-test improved irrigation schedules for smallholder leafy vegetable farming based on that method, and then develop extension tools to communicate the schedules to smallholder farmers. Improved irrigation schedules for leafy vegetables were developed based on a crop water use prediction technique that is well established (the Penman-Monteith method) but beyond the capacity of smallholder farmers to implement without access to simple aids. Compared to conventional practice, the method approximately halved water and labour use and improved irrigation water productivity 2–3 fold in field research and demonstration trials. Simplified extension tools to assist smallholder farmers with practice change were developed. This work showed that significant efficiencies could be gained through improved irrigation scheduling without changing application technology.

Funding

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

History

Publication title

Water

Volume

14

Issue

13

Article number

w14132010

Number

w14132010

Pagination

1-17

ISSN

2073-4441

Department/School

Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)

Publisher

MDPI

Place of publication

Switzerland

Rights statement

Copyright 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Management of water consumption by plant production