Open Access

Irrigation Schedules for Selected Food Crops Using Water Balance Book-Keeping Method


In the tropics, the water potential of a region cannot be adequately assessed from precipitation alone due to the seasonal character of rainfall and even more so owing to the changing climate scenario. It is therefore necessary that in any agro-climatological program, there must be a clear understanding of the actual amount of water that evaporates and transpires (AET), and the amount of water that would evaporate and transpire if water were always readily available (PET). This could be done through the method of the water balance. The present work examines the water budget of parts of the Imo river basin and its implications for improved crop production through supplementary irrigation schedules. It was observed, that the study area is already facing moisture-stress. This is because even during rainy months supplementary irrigation is required to compensate for the occasionally moisture deficit due to increased evapotranspiration. The study showed that cultivation of maize, rice and tomatoes can be carried out on an all-year round basis under a scientific irrigation scheme. Thus the study provided farmers with guideline on the period and quantity of water required for supplementary irrigation, a development which will prevents wilting of plants before the application of needed water.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Plant Science