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Analysis of AET and yield predictions under surface and buried drip irrigation systems using the Crop Model PILOTE and Hydrus-2D

  • Mailhol, Jean Claude
  • Ruelle, Pierre
  • Walser, Sabine
  • Schütze, Niels
  • Dejean, Cyril
Registered author(s):

    Innovative irrigation solutions have to face water scarcity problems affecting the Mediterranean countries. Generally, surface (DI) or subsurface drip irrigation systems (SDI) have the ability to increase water productivity (WP). But the question about their possible utilisation for crops such as corn would merit to be analysed using an appropriate economic tool. The latter would be necessary based on the utilisation of a modelling approach to identify the optimal irrigation strategy associating a water amount with a crop yield (Yc). In this perspective, a possible utilisation of the operative 1D crop model PILOTE for simulating actual evapotranspiration (AET) and yield under a 2D soil water transfer process characterizing DI and SDI was analysed. In this study, limited to a loamy soil cultivated with corn, the pertinence of the root water uptake model used in the numerical code Hydrus-2D for AET estimations of actual evapotranspiration (AET) under water stress conditions is discussed throughout the Yc = F(AET) relationship established by PILOTE on the basis of validated simulations. The conclusions of this work are (i): with slight adaptations, PILOTE can provide reliable WP estimations associated to irrigation strategies under DI and SDI, (ii): the current Hydrus-2D version used in this study underestimates AET, compared with PILOTE, in a range varying from 7% under moderate water stress conditions to 14% under severe ones, (iii): A lateral spacing of 1.6 m for the irrigation of corn with a SDI system is an appropriate solution on a loamy soil under a Mediterranean climate. A local Yc = F(AET) relationship associated with a Hydrus-2D version taking into account the compensating root uptake process could result in an interesting tool to help identify the optimal irrigation system design under different soil conditions.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6T3X-529Y82H-1/2/ba5bd1f80c8476a95f773772fe0717c5
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Water Management.

    Volume (Year): 98 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 (April)
    Pages: 1033-1044

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:98:y:2011:i:6:p:1033-1044
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agwat

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    1. Mubarak, Ibrahim & Mailhol, Jean Claude & Angulo-Jaramillo, Rafael & Bouarfa, Sami & Ruelle, Pierre, 2009. "Effect of temporal variability in soil hydraulic properties on simulated water transfer under high-frequency drip irrigation," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1547-1559, November.
    2. Patel, Neelam & Rajput, T.B.S., 2008. "Dynamics and modeling of soil water under subsurface drip irrigated onion," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 95(12), pages 1335-1349, December.
    3. Hanson, Blaine R. & Simunek, Jirka & Hopmans, Jan W., 2006. "Evaluation of urea-ammonium-nitrate fertigation with drip irrigation using numerical modeling," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 86(1-2), pages 102-113, November.
    4. Gardenas, A.I. & Hopmans, J.W. & Hanson, B.R. & Simunek, J., 2005. "Two-dimensional modeling of nitrate leaching for various fertigation scenarios under micro-irrigation," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 219-242, June.
    5. Mailhol, J. C. & Zairi, A. & Slatni, A. & Ben Nouma, B. & El Amani, H., 2004. "Analysis of irrigation systems and irrigation strategies for durum wheat in Tunisia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 19-37, October.
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