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Simple ETo-based rules for irrigation scheduling by smallholder vegetable farmers in Laos and Cambodia


McPhee, J and Eberhard, J and Melland, A and Uddin, J and Dunn, L and Hin, S and Lim, V and Touch, V and Sisouvanh, P and Somphou, I and Vilayphone, T and Mounsena, P and Ives, S, Simple ETo-based rules for irrigation scheduling by smallholder vegetable farmers in Laos and Cambodia, Water, 14, (13) Article w14132010. ISSN 2073-4441 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.3390/w14132010


Hand-held hoses and watering cans are widely used by smallholder farmers to irrigate vegetables in Cambodia and Laos. Overwatering is common. Technology change (e.g., low-pressure drip irrigation) has been used to improve irrigation efficiency but can be unaffordable for many smallholder farmers. The purpose of this study was to identify an appropriate method of predicting crop water demand, develop and field-test improved irrigation schedules for smallholder leafy vegetable farming based on that method, and then develop extension tools to communicate the schedules to smallholder farmers. Improved irrigation schedules for leafy vegetables were developed based on a crop water use prediction technique that is well established (the Penman-Monteith method) but beyond the capacity of smallholder farmers to implement without access to simple aids. Compared to conventional practice, the method approximately halved water and labour use and improved irrigation water productivity 23 fold in field research and demonstration trials. Simplified extension tools to assist smallholder farmers with practice change were developed. This work showed that significant efficiencies could be gained through improved irrigation scheduling without changing application technology.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:irrigation, leafy vegetables, evapotranspiration, nomograph, water productivity
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agriculture, land and farm management not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Environmentally sustainable plant production
Objective Field:Management of water consumption by plant production
UTAS Author:McPhee, J (Mr John McPhee)
UTAS Author:Ives, S (Dr Stephen Ives)
ID Code:150665
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2022-06-24
Last Modified:2022-08-01

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