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Early sowing and irrigation to increase barley yields and water use efficiency in Mediterranean conditions

  • Yau, Sui-Kwong
  • Nimah, Musa
  • Farran, Mohamad
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    In rainfed Mediterranean areas, early sowings which lead to early growth and maturity to escape terminal heat and drought usually give higher grain yield than late sowings in years when rains come early. We test the hypothesis that early sowing coupled with a small amount of irrigation to ensure earlier emergence increases grain yield significantly, while improving irrigation water productivity. Replicated field experiments were conducted for 4 years in the semi-arid central Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. Barley was sown early, and half of the plots were irrigated with 25-30Â mm of water immediately after sowing (EI). Half of the plots also received irrigation around heading stage (LI). Besides yields, other agronomic data were collected throughout crop growth, and the supplemental irrigation water use efficiency (WUESI) was calculated. Our results confirm the hypothesis that in Mediterranean areas early sowing followed immediately with a small amount of irrigation increases barley grain yield significantly. Farmers in the region should seriously consider practicing this technique as it produces a higher WUESI than irrigation at the heading stage.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378377411001661
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Water Management.

    Volume (Year): 98 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 12 (October)
    Pages: 1776-1781

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:98:y:2011:i:12:p:1776-1781
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agwat

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    1. Benli, B. & Pala, M. & Stockle, C. & Oweis, T., 2007. "Assessment of winter wheat production under early sowing with supplemental irrigation in a cold highland environment using CropSyst simulation model," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 45-53, October.
    2. Ilbeyi, Adem & Ustun, Haluk & Oweis, Theib & Pala, Mustafa & Benli, Bogachan, 2006. "Wheat water productivity and yield in a cool highland environment: Effect of early sowing with supplemental irrigation," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 399-410, April.
    3. Zhang, Heping & Oweis, Theib, 1999. "Water-yield relations and optimal irrigation scheduling of wheat in the Mediterranean region," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 195-211, January.
    4. Tavakkoli, Ali Reza & Oweis, Theib Y., 2004. "The role of supplemental irrigation and nitrogen in producing bread wheat in the highlands of Iran," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 225-236, March.
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