(online) = ISSN 2285 – 3642
ISSN-L = 2285 – 3642
Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People
Volume 1, Issue 1, 2012
Irrigation, a Component of the Sustainable Agriculture
in North Western Romania in the Context of the Climate Change
UDK 631. 67 : 551. 583 (498)
Prof. Cornel Domuţa, PhD, Vasile Bara, Maria Şandor, Bara Vasile, Şandor
Maria, Bara Camelia, Domuţa Cristian, Bara Lucian, Borza Ioana, Brejea
, Gitea Manuel, Vuşcan Adrian
University of Oradea, Romania
The paper is based on the researches carried out during 1976-2010 in the long term trial placed on the prelvosoil from Agricultural Research and Development Station Oradea. The main field crops of the area (wheat, maize, sunflower, soybean, bean, potato, sugarbeet, alfalfa) were studied. Based on the soil moisture determination ten to ten days, the soil water reserve was maintained between easily available water content and field capacity on the watering depth. Pedological and strong pedological drought (the decrease of the soil water reserve on watering depth bellow easily available water content, bellow wilting point respectivelly) were registered every year. The use of the irrigation determined the improve of the water/temperature+light (Domuta climate index) report, the increase of the daily and total water consumption, yield gains very significant statistically, the improve of the yields stability and yields quality, the increase of the water use efficiency. The use of the good soil management didn’t worsen the soil structure and the chemical and biological parameters of the soil were improved. The researches sustain the irrigation opportunity for sustainable agriculture in the North-Western Romania.
The appearance of the sustainable agriculture concept is belong to the United National Conference for Human Environment from Stockholm in 1972 and “Broundland Report” of ONU Conference on Enviroment and Development from Rio de Janeiro. These were the crucial moments in definition of the development sustainable concept, especially sustainable agriculture. The researchers who published about this problem were Tinbergen (1956), Odum (1971), Clarck and Mun (1986), Hall (1995) and all (Domuţa C., 2009b).
There was in Romania in 1999 a reference moment regarding this problem, Hera.Cr, organized the symposium ”The performant sustainable agriculture”, scientifical manifestation of Plant Crop Section belonged to ASAS “Gheorghe Ionescu Şişeşti”. Many and interesting papers were presented in the symposium; those written by Puia and Soran, Toncea, Săulescu, Iliescu, Sin, Picu Hera 1999). Budoi and Penescu (1996), Guş and all (1998) in the treatises of Soil Management had an important contribution in knowledge of this concept, too. All these papers sustain the crop rotation like central pivot and presume a variating structure of crops. In this system, the organic fertilization it’s very important, the chemical fertilization can be used with moderate rates, the soil tillage must be right executed, the plants protection is realised by integrated management; all this things assured the conservation of the soil, water and biodiversity reserve and obtaining an ecological and profitable yields.
If it’s used correctly, the irrigation is a component of sustainable agriculture (Doorembos and Kassam, 1986, Doorembos and Pruitt, 1992, Domuţa C., 2005,2009).
Material and method
The researches were obtained in Oradea in the north part of Crişurilor Plain during 1976-2010, in a long term trial on preluvosoil.
On the ploughed depth, the preluvosoil has a hydraulic conductivity with big value, median on 20-60 cm depth and very small below 60 cm depth. On 0-20 cm depth the soil is small settled (BD = 1,41 g/cm3) and very settled on the irrigation depth of the crops studied and on the depth (0-150 cm) for soil water balance. Field capacity (Fc) is median on the all soil profile and wilting point (Wp) has a median value till 80 cm depth and big value below this depth. Easily available water content (Wea) was established by formula(Botzan 1966, Grumeza and all, 1989):
Wea = Wp + 2/3 (Fc - Wp);
Soil reaction is low acid, the humus content (1,8%) is small and the total nitrogen content (0,127-0,156 ppm) is small- median; the mobile potassium content is small – median, too. The annual fertilization with the doses specifical for irrigated crops increased the phosphorus content from 22.0 ppm to 150,8 ppm.
The water sources for irrigation is water ground (15 cm depth). The irrigation water has a low natrium content (12.9 %), the salinization potential is low (CSR = -1.7) and SAR index (0.52) is low too.
The irrigation equipment of the research field permitted to measure exactly and to distribute uniformelly the irrigation water.
Soil moisture determined ten to ten days maintaining the soil water resrve on irrigation depth (0-50 cm for wheat and bean; 0-75 cm for maize, soybean, sunflower, potato, sugarbeet, alfalfa 1st year, maize for silo; 0-100 cm for alfalfa 2nd year) between easily available wter content and field capacity.
Domuţa Climate Index was calculated after following formula:
W = water (irrigation, rainfalls, water ground)
A = air humidity, %
Σt = the sum of monthly average temperature, °C;
Sb = sun brilliance, hours
The climate characterization after ICD value is: < 3 exces droughty; 3.1-5.0 very droughty; 5.1-7.0 droughty; 7.1-9 median droughty; 9.1-12 median wet; 12.1-15 wet I; 15.1-18 wet II; 18.1-25 – wet III; > 25 excess wet.
The crops technologies wished to be the optimum one, for this part of the country. Crop rotation used were: alfalfa 1st year – alfalfa 2nd year- maize – bean – wheat – soybean – sugarbeet – sunflower – potato. The fertilization system had a rate of 40 t/hamanure for sugarbeet and potato and annual medium rate on crop rotation of N 140 kg/ha a.s., P 110 kg/ha a.s. and K 90 kg/ha a.s. were used. (Brejea R., 2010)
The structure of soil was determined with Cseratzki method and water consumption with soil water balance method; balance depth was 0 –150 cm.(Domuţa C., 1995, 2003, 2009a)
The water use efficiency was calculated like report between the yield and water consumption (Borza I., 2007)
Results and discussions
The influence of irrigation on soil
A right leading of irrigation regime (through maintaining the soil water reserve between easily available water content and field capacity on irrigation depth), the application of melioration crop rotation and a organo-mineral system of fertilization for irrigated crops determined the realization of structured degree of 35.98%, with 3% bigger than structured degree determined in unirrigated wheat- maize rotation. In unirrigated melioration crop rotation the structured degree (47,52%) was bigger than the wheat – maize crop rotation with 34% (table 1).
The influence of the melioration crop rotation and irrigation on macrostructure stability of the preluvosoil, Oradea 1976-2010
The pedological drought
The periods with soil water reserve on watering depth below easily available water content on irrigation depth was considered the pedological drought. (Domuţa C, 1995).
The pedological drought was present in each of 35 years reseached, the maximum frequency at wheat crop was established in June in wheat and in August in maize, sugarbeet and alfalfa. In potato the maximum frequency (92%) was registered in July (table 2).
In other years, soil water reserve on irrigation depth decreased below wilting point.
Monthly situations of periods with soil water reserve below easily available water content on irrigation depth in main crops, in unirrigated conditions from Oradea, 1976-2010
1= Number of days with soil water reserve below easily available water content
2 = Frequency of days with soil water reserve below easily available water content
The irrigation influence on microclimate
The irrigation determined the improve of microclimate conditions. The value of report water/temperature + light (Domuţa Climate Index, ICD) calculated for irrigated maize crop was bigger with 135% in August, 115% in July, 49% in June and 32% in May. In irrigated maize, the microclimate was characterized “median wet” vs “median droughty” in May, “wet II” vs “median wet” in June, “wet III” vs “median droughty” in July, “wet I” vs “droughty” in August (table 3).
The modifications of the water/temperature + light report (Domuţa Climate Index/ICD)
under the influence of the irrigation in maize crop, Oradea 1976-2010
The irrigation determined the increase of the values of daily water consumption. In this case the total water consumption had values bigger than total water consumption of unirrigated crops, the differences was registered between 36.6% (wheat) and 108.4% (maize for silo double crop).
The most important part from total water consumption was covered with rainfalls registered in the period of the vegetation crops. For the assurance of optimum water consumption of these crops (maintaining the water reserve below easily available water content anf field capacity) the irrigation was necessary every year; the participation averages in the covering sources have values between 33.7% (wheat) and 58.7% (maize for silo double crop); the maximum values of the variation interval were registered between 61.0% (maize) and 103.2% (maize for silo double crop), (table 4).
The water consumption Σ (e + t) and the covering sources, Oradea 1976-2010
Ri-Initial reserve; Rf-Final reserve, Rv-Rainfalls from vegetation period; Σm- Irrigation rate
The irrigation influence on yields level
The average of the yields obtained during 1976-2010 in irrigation conditions were bigger than in unirrigated conditions, the relative differences registered had the values between 39% (wheat) and 127% (maize for silo double crop).
The amplitude of the variation interval for yield differences between two variants was 104% at sunflower, 116% at wheat crop, 176 % alfalfa crop 2nd year, 218% sugarbeet crop, 291% at alfalfa 1st year, 353 % soybean, 358 % at potato, 800 % at bean, 806% maize for corn and 25745% at maize for silo double crop (table5).
The level of yields in main crop, in irrigated and unirrigated conditions, Oradea 1976-2010
The influence of irrigation on yield stability
The quantification of the yield stability was made using the “standard deviation” indicator. In all crops, the irrigation determined the increase of yield stability, the differences between standard deviations for irrigated and unirrigated conditions was 8.7% (sunflower) and 50.4% (maize for silo double crop) (table 6).
Standard deviation in unirrigated and irrigated crops, Oradea 1976-2010
The influence of irrigation on quality of yield
In irrigated maize, the quantity of total nitrogen in grain was bigger than unirrigated maize with 19.7%. Taking in consideration the yield differences between irrigated and unirrigated maize, results much more protein (135.4%) in irrigated conditions,(table 7).
The participation of the big potato in the yield of the irrigated variant was of 84.4% with 11.6% more than unirrigated variant (table 8).
The influence of irrigation on protein content in maize corn, Oradea 1987-2010
The improve of the yield quality was registered in soybean and sugarbeet, too (Domuţa
The influence of the irrigation on the big tuberous participation from potato crop, Oradea
The influence of irrigation on water use efficiency
Excepting the sunflower crop, in all the crops, the irrigation determined the improve of water use efficiency, for 1m3 water consumpted was obtained a bigger quantity of the main yield than unirrigated conditions, the relative differences had medium values between 2% (wheat) and 25% (maize for silo double crop), (table 9).
Irrigation influence on water use efficiency, Oradea 1976 – 2010
Correlations from soil –water- plant- atmosphere system
Over the years was quantified the correlations from soil – water – plant-atmosphere system for all researched crops (Domuţa, 1995, 2009, Domuţa Cr., 2010). In this paper were presented the correlations at one of important crop in this area which is maize.
Between number of days with water reserve below easily available water content and yield, respectively water use efficiency and between number of days with water reserve on irrigation depth below wilting point and yield determined an inverse links, statistically very significantt. Between number of days with water reserve below easily available water content and yield gain obtained using the irrigation was quantified a direct link, statistically very significant.
A direct links, statistically very significant were quantified between microclimate conditions and yield, respectively between water consumption and yield. These correlations sustained the need of irrigation in maize from this area. (table 10).
Correlation in the soil – water – plant – atmosphere system in maize,
WR = water reserve on 0-75 cm depth; WP = wilting point; WEA = easily available water content;
WUE = water use efficiency; kg/m3; ICD = Domuţa Climate Index.
The paper is based on the researches carried out during 1976-2010 in Oradea, in a long term trial at ten different crops.
The presence of irrigation in the components of the sustainable agriculture is sustained by following arguments:
· The evolution of the soil structure. In the conditions when was used alfalfa as ameliorativ crop rotation, and the fertilization system included manure, the structured degree (35.98%) was maintaining to the level of the structure degree from crop rotation unirrigated wheat- maize (35.26%);
• The decrease of soil water reserve on watering depth below easily available water content every year and in other years even below wilting point level;
• The droughty microclimate of unirrigated crops and the positive influence of the irrigation on water/ temperature + light report (Domuta climate index);
• The improve of the crops water consumption; the differences in comparison with unirrigated crops were between 36.6% (wheat) and 108,4% (maize for silo double crop). The optimum water consumption can be assured using the irrigation only. This participation in the covering sources was between 33.2% (sunflower ) and 58.7% (maize for silo double crop).
• The highest level of yields; median differences, were between 39% (wheat) and 127% (maize for silo double crop). The maximum values of the variation interval are between 110% (sunflower) and 25760 (maize for silo double crop). The quality of yield is better than unirrigated conditions;
• A better stability of the yield, standard deviation values were smaller than unirrigated conditions with relative values between 8,7% (sunflower) and 50,4% (maize for silo double crop);
• The increasing of water use efficiency with values between 2% (wheat) and 25% (maize);
• The correlations from soil-water-plant-atmosphere system:
• The inverse correlations between number of days with pedological drought and yield, respectively water use efficiency;
• The direct correlations between number of days with pedological drought and yield gain obtained using the irrigation;
• The direct correlations between water/temperature + light report (Domuţa Climate Index) and yield, respectively between water consumption and yield.
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