Water Saving and Yield of Potatoes under Partial Root-Zone Drying Drip Irrigation Technique: Field and Modelling Study Using SALTMED Model in Saudi Arabia

Journal Article
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scientific research
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Publication Abstract

This study aims to evaluate the Partial Root Zone Drying Irrigation System (PRD) as one of the modern technologies that provide irrigation water and increase the efficiency of its use on potato crop. The effect of applying the PRD conventional deficit irrigation (CDI) on the efficiency and water saving in potato crops using the drip surface (S) and subsurface (SS) irrigation methods were investigated. SALTMED model used to predict soil moisture and salinity distribution, soil nitrogen dynamics, and yield of potato crop using the different irrigation levels (150%, 100%, and 50% of Crop evapotranspiration (ETc)). The study showed that the water use efficiency (WUE) decreases with increasing levels of irrigation water, as it ranged between 2.96 and 8.38 kgm−3, 2.77 and 7.01 kgm−3 for surface irrigation PRD and CDI, respectively, when the amounts of irrigation water varied from 308 mm to 1174 mm, respectively. The study showed that the irrigation efficiencies were the highest when using PRD system in all treatments when irrigating the potato crop during the spring season, and it was more efficient in the case of using subsurface irrigation method. The results show that the soil moisture (SM) was high in 25–45 cm at 150% of ETc was 0.166 and 0.263 m3m−3 for the first and last stages of growth, respectively. 100% of ETc, (SM) was 0.296 m3m−3 at 0–25 cm, 0.195 m3m−3 at 25–45 cm, 0.179 m3m−3 at 45–62 cm, depths, respectively. whereas 50% of ETc, (SM) was 0.162 m3m−3 at 0–25 cm, 0.195 m3m−3 at 25–85 cm, depths. At 100% of ETc, soil salinity was 5.15, 4.37, 3.3, and 4.5 dSm−1, whereas at 50%, ETc, these values were 5.64, 9.6, 3.3, and 4.2 dSm−1. Statistical indicators showed that the model underestimated yield, for 150%, 100%, and 50% of ETc. Therefore, it can be concluded that yield and WUE using PRD systems were the highest in the potato crop compare to CDI surface and sub-surface, and SALTMED model can predict the moisture distribution, salinity, and yield of potatoes after accurate adjustment