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Irrigation

Irrigation is the artificial application of water to partially meet the crop evapo-transpiration requirements. It is essential for sustaining crop productivity in many regions of the country mainly because the rainfall is inadequate and unevenly distributed to meet crop water demands. Irrigation water is a costly and scare input, and it is becoming more difficult to increase the area under irrigation to meet the demand for food, fodder and fiber for growing human and livestock population. The competing demands of water for other uses viz. urbanization and industrialization are also restricting the availability of water for crop production. Therefore, it is essential to optimize the use of water according to availability on sustainable basis in the decline water table areas, and to allow minimum loss of water by efficient water management techniques in areas where water table is continuously rising.

Irrigation requirements of some important crops

Irrigation requirement at the field level refers to the amount of water, exclusive or precipitation, required to mature the crops (Table 7). It is usually expressed in depth at the given time. It thus, includes the amount of water needed to meet the losses through evaporation and transpiration, both occurring simultaneously and hence termed evapo- transpiration (ET), application losses and the special needs. It does not include transit losses.

Table 7. Irrigation requirements of some important crops

S.No.

Crops (Kharif)

Crop duration (days)

Irrigation requirement (mm)

1.

Rice

130-140

700-800

2.

Sorghum

110

150

3.

Maize

110

150

4.

Sugarcane

330

700

5.

Summer pulses

70

210

6.

Pearl millet

90

150

7.

Sunflower

110

210

8.

Cotton

180

280

9.

Wheat

135

350

10.

Berseem

200

800

11.

Potato

110

450

12.

Lentil

135

150

13.

Mustard

150

150

14.

Barley

125

210

15.

Soybean

90

350

16.

Chickpea

150

150

 
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