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Deficit irrigation under water stress and salinity conditions: The MOPECO-Salt Model

A. Domínguez, J.M. Tarjuelo, J.A. de Juan, E. López-Mata, J. Breidy and F. Karam

Agricultural Water Management, 2011, vol. 98, issue 9, pages 1451-1461

Abstract: In both arid and semi-arid areas the use of saline water for irrigation is a common practice, even though it may cause a drop in crop yield and progressive soil salinization. In order to determine the most suitable irrigation strategy for higher yield, profitability, and soil salinity management of certain crops, the MOPECO-Salt Model has been developed. This model was first validated in the Eastern Mancha Agricultural System in Albacete (Spain) through a test carried out on onion crop in April-September 2009, where the simulated yield was 2% lower than the observed one. The model was then tested at Tal Amara Research Station in the Central Bekaa Valley Agricultural System (Lebanon) using data from a 5-year experiment on the effects of deficit irrigation on two cultivars of potato (Spunta: July-October 2001, and June-September 2002; and Agria: March-August 2004, 2005, and 2007). Furthermore, these results were compared with those obtained through AquaCrop, which does not currently assess crop response to salinity. Differences between observed and simulated yields were lower than 3% for MOPECO-Salt and up to 12% for AquaCrop. According to findings from simulations, the irrigation strategies without leaching fraction employed in both areas are remediable since the off-season rainfall is sufficient to wash out soluble salts supplied with irrigation water. Results showed that as much as 14.4% water could be saved when this strategy was adopted for onion crops.

Keywords: Salinization; Leaching; fraction; Water; stress; AquaCrop; Solanum; tuberosum; L.; Allium; cepa; L. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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