A simple technique to improve the efficiency of furrow irrigation system

A. Al-Busaidi*, M. Al-Abri, M. Ahmed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Sultanate of Oman agriculture is almost fully dependent on groundwater. The traditional surface irrigation system such as furrow remains the most common irrigation technique covering almost 80% of the agricultural area. The system has low water use efficiency and enhances soil erosion. If the furrow system can be modified and improved to a level that can increase the efficiency and save water, significant benefits will occur. Therefore, the objective of this study was to modify the furrow system to a furrow bed system and evaluate its water use efficiency in comparison to the drip irrigation system. The experiment was conducted in plots of 2×3 m in the Agricultural Experiment Station of Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. Each plot had either a drip irrigation system or furrow bed of 60 cm width. The plots were divided randomly using complete block design with two treatments (water source was freshwater and treated wastewater and irrigation method was furrow bed and drip) and three replications. Wheat was sown and all required parameters for soil and plants were measured. Plants were irrigated daily by drippers or every five days by furrows based on crop evapotranspiration value. From soil salinity data, it was found that both methods added some salts to the root zone with less salts found in the furrow bed method due to the heavy leaching that occurred during irrigation. However, the general data did not show a significant difference (p<0.05) in soil salinity between both irrigation method. Since treated wastewater has some extra nutrients compared to freshwater, plant growth was better with treated wastewater and almost all growth parameters were higher with treated wastewater compared to freshwater. Wheat irrigated by drip gave better biological yield compared to furrow bed irrigation. Generally, all measured data collected from both irrigation methods did not show any significant difference (p<0.05). Water productivity data gave better results with furrow bed compared to drip method. This indicates the higher efficiency of furrow bed compared to old method of furrow irrigation. However, drip irrigation could be better in reducing evaporated water whereas furrow bed is an easy method in getting good yield with low cost and high productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Agricultural Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationNew Technologies for Sustainable Agricultural Production and Food Security
EditorsH. Jayasuriya, Y.A. Al-Mulla, M. Ahmed
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9789462610453
Publication statusPublished - Oct 22 2014

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572


  • Drip
  • Furrow bed
  • Treated wastewater
  • Water productivity
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


Dive into the research topics of 'A simple technique to improve the efficiency of furrow irrigation system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this