Effect of irrigation regimes on yield and water use efficiencies of potato

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Kulumsa Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research. P.O.Box 489, Kulumsa, Ethiopia.

2 Melkasa Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research. P.O.Box 436, Nazareth, Ethiopia.

3 Department of International Environmental and Agricultural Sciences, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, 3-5-8 Saiwaicho Fuchu Tokyo 183–8509, Japan.

Abstract

Poor irrigation water management is one of the major factors limiting crop production in
Ethiopia. This study was, therefore, conducted at three different locations in the southeastern
Ethiopia for 2 consecutive years to investigate the effects of different irrigation depths and
intervals with furrow irrigation system on tuber yield, biomass yield and water use efficiency of
potato. The treatments consisted of four irrigation regimes. Three of them were determined
using FAO-Cropwat 4 Windows 4.3 computer model based on maximum irrigation efficiency
and minimum yield loss. The fourth treatment was farmers' practices for each location.
The irrigation treatments were laid out in randomized complete block design with 3 replications.
Results showed that irrigation regimes determined using FAO-Cropwat 4 Windows 4.3
computer model gave superior tuber and biomass yields and water use efficiencies of potato
compared to farmers’ practices at all locations. Higher values of crop and water productivity
were obtained when scheduled at application of 20 mm irrigation water every 6 days, 15 mm
irrigation water every 7 days and 15 mm irrigation water every 9 days for Sheled, Golja and
Lemu areas, respectively. It could be conclude that farmers were over irrigating their farms
without equivalent returns. The water saved through optimized irrigation can be used more
profitably to irrigate supplemental lands, thus achieving a more efficient and rational use of land
and water resources.

Keywords