Irrigation and Melioration


The study was carried out in 2013-2014 at two pilot farms of Fergana Valley cultivating grapevines using canal irrigation and groundwater. The farm data on irrigation applications and power inputs were compared with the experience of farmers in Turkey and Iran. The study indicated that at the farm where the groundwater was used in irrigation the yield of grapes was 2.7 times and water productivity 3 times higher as compared to using canal irrigation. This was found to be the consequence of inadequate applications of organic fertilizers and farming machinery, and poor irrigation scheduling under canal irrigation. The use of groundwater made it possible to carry out frequent irrigation at low rates, which made it possible to maintain optimal soil moisture; as a result, the nutrients were constantly available in a form accessible to plants. With the use of groundwater for irrigation, additional electricity costs of 14349 MJ/ha appeared. Expanding farmers' access to modern pumping equipment reduces these costs by 25%. An even more dramatic solution is the gradual transition to solar energy use in groundwater extraction, which is the object of further research.


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