YIELD AND WATER USE RESPONSE OF WATERMELON UNDER DEFICIT IRRIGATION AND MULCH

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YIELD AND WATER USE RESPONSE OF WATERMELON UNDER DEFICIT IRRIGATION AND MULCH

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of Study

Irrigation scheduling is commonly defined as determining when to irrigate and how much water to apply. Successful irrigation depends upon understanding and utilizing irrigation scheduling principles to develop a water management plan. Effective irrigation scheduling provides information to irrigation scheme managers for use in developing irrigation strategies on each field for efficient irrigation. Scarce water resources and growing competition for water reduce its availability for irrigated agriculture. Achieving high water use efficiency is a primary challenge in irrigated agriculture. Irrigation practices and techniques aimed at maximizing crop production with minimum water utilization are fast evolving, and there is need for evaluation of these practices before adoption, which include the employment of techniques and practices that deliver a more accurate water supply to crops. (FAO, 2012, English and Raja 2016).

Studies are needed to increase the efficient use of the available water. Regulated deficit irrigation with mulching is one among many practices that is fast gaining ground, and it appears a very promising option at achieving the goal of more crops per unit volume of water, if properly adopted. The development of new irrigation scheduling techniques such as deficit irrigation and identifying the sensitive crop growth stage to water stress is one way to enhance crop productivity with less water (Bekele and Tilahun, 2017).

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