Effect of overhead irrigation on corn yield and quality under shallow water table conditions
Authors: Abbas, Haider; Sri Ranjan, Ramanathan
Description: Corn is a moisture sensitive crop and drought conditions during critical growth stages affect kernel yield and quality. The objective of this field research was to determine the impact of water contribution from shallow water table under overhead irrigation and no irrigation treatments on corn yield, in a fine sandy loam soil in Southern Manitoba. The study was conducted at two different sites (Canada Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre (CMCDC), and Hespler Farms). Compared to no irrigation treatment, the overhead-irrigated plots had a 16% (p = 0.021) and 9% (p = 0.025) significantly higher yield at CMCDC and Hespler sites, respectively. The kernel quality, based on kernels passing through 14/64-mesh size, in overhead-irrigated plots was found to be significantly better in overhead-irrigated plots at CMCDC (p = 0.011) and Hespler (p = 0.003) sites compared to the non-irrigated treatment. The increased unsaturated hydraulic conductivity due to increased water content of the soil beneath the root zone in the irrigated treatment led to an increased upward migration of water from the shallow water table compared to the upward migration in the non-irrigated treatment. In the irrigated treatment, the irrigation water quality was better than the quality of the water supplied from the water table because groundwater had high concentration of nitrate (55 ppm). However, in the non-irrigated treatment, the precipitation alone was not sufficient to dilute the poor quality water from the water table leading to lower yield and poor kernel quality.
Keywords: Water table level, overhead irrigation, corn root-zone, corn yield, kernel quality soil water content, upward flux
Conference name: CSBE/SCGAB 2017 Annual Conference, Canad Inns Polo Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 6-10 August 2017.
Session name: Session 2B: Soil & Water: Mitigating Environmental Impact
Publisher: Canadian Society for Bioengineering
Language 1: en
Rights: Canadian Society for Bioengineering