Managing lateral infiltration on wide beds in clay and sandy clay loam using Hydrus 2D
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The water productivity of wide beds is largely constrained by poor lateral infiltration. Therefore, field trials were conducted to quantify soil moisture distribution on two soils using three renovation methods [no tillage (NT), shallow cultivation (SC) and blade ploughing (BP)] and four furrow water heads. The aim was to explore strategies for improving lateral infiltration using Hydrus 2D simulation techniques. The results showed increased lateral infiltration and soil water storage with BP, increased vertical infiltration and deep drainage with SC and reduced infiltration with NT treatments. Interestingly, the maximum wetting time of a 2 m wide bed on the clay was similar to 20 h with NT at a 4-cm furrow water head. This seems achievable under the Australian field conditions. However, the minimum wetting time of a 1.3 m wide bed on the sandy clay loam was 15 h with BP at full furrow water head, which is difficult to manage under short Pakistani furrows with quicker irrigation times. The evaluations and graphical presentations developed can enhance decision support for the optimised irrigation management and bed width design.
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