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Excessive vegetation in irrigation ditches (Figure 1) decreases the capacity of a ditch to carry water (in some cases to less than one-half of the design capacity). Many of the ditches in Southwestern Saskatchewan are intermittently wet and dry with sufficient time between irrigations for a dense growth of grass or weeds to become established. Maintenance of irrigation ditches that will carry the design flow is the main problem cited by managers of irrigation projects in the area. The growth in the ditch decreases the velocity of flow so that the water is carried higher than the design level which increases the potential for seepage. Weedy ditches are also a source of weed seeds which spread throughout the irrigated fields. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the observations of the use of sterilants on the irrigation projects and to compare the effectiveness of various herbicides and low-growing crops in a subsequent re search trial. The latter study is being continued and includes analyses con ducted by the Research Station, Regina, Saskatchewan, of soil and water samples collected from sterilant treatments. Results on persistence and movement of these sterilants in soils and water is presented elsewhere (3). Drain ditches and main canals that have water in them throughout the season were not included in these studies.
irrigation ditch maintenance with chemicals and grasses
Korven, H.C. 1975. IRRIGATION DITCH MAINTENANCE WITH CHEMICALS AND GRASSES. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 17(1):39-43.
39 - 43