Submit a Manuscript

Publishing with us to make your research visible to the widest possible audience.

Propose a Special Issue

Building a community of authors and readers to discuss the latest research and develop new ideas.

Deficit Irrigation and Mulching Impacts on Major Crop Yield and Water Efficiency: A Review

The review examines the impact of deficit irrigation and mulching materials on crop yield and water use efficiency. The challenges posed by population growth and climate change necessitate new solutions to improve agriculture. The best irrigation strategies yield large yields for a given amount of water. Deficit irrigation and mulching significantly increase water use efficiency and crop yield for various crops. However, water supply constraints have led to the development of deficit irrigation; a strategy that maximizes water use efficiency without yield penalty. Mulch is a vital method for conserving soil moisture, preventing weed growth, reducing evaporation, and increasing infiltration of rainwater during the growing season. Different mulching methods and materials are used worldwide, with plastic and straw being the most popular and optimistic results. Straw mulch conserves higher soil moisture by 55% more compared to the control, and crops under straw mulch produce higher branches, fruit weight, and total yield. Polyethylene mulches have induced large increases in growth and yields for various vegetables, including tomato. However, the economic profitability of this mulch is low, so straw mulch is better for economic profitability. Plastic cover ridge furrow methods are better for increasing water use efficiency (WUE) and crop yield, reducing soil evaporation and erosion, increasing top soil temperature, creating a microenvironment for soil microbial activity, and increasing sustainability.

Deficit Irrigation, Mulching, Water Use Efficiency

APA Style

Zalalem Tamiru Bekele, Addisu Asefa Mengasha. (2023). Deficit Irrigation and Mulching Impacts on Major Crop Yield and Water Efficiency: A Review. Hydrology, 11(4), 62-66. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.hyd.20231104.11

ACS Style

Zalalem Tamiru Bekele; Addisu Asefa Mengasha. Deficit Irrigation and Mulching Impacts on Major Crop Yield and Water Efficiency: A Review. Hydrology. 2023, 11(4), 62-66. doi: 10.11648/j.hyd.20231104.11

AMA Style

Zalalem Tamiru Bekele, Addisu Asefa Mengasha. Deficit Irrigation and Mulching Impacts on Major Crop Yield and Water Efficiency: A Review. Hydrology. 2023;11(4):62-66. doi: 10.11648/j.hyd.20231104.11

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

2. Lin, Z., LIU, J. L., LUO, S. S., BU, L. D., CHEN, X. P. and LI, S. Q., 2015. Soil mulching can mitigate soil water deficiency impacts on rainfed maize production in semiarid environments. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 14 (1), pp. 58-66.
3. Doorenbos, J. and W. H. Pruitt. 1992. Crop water requirements. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper Number 24, FAO, Rome, Italy.
4. English, M. J., Solomon, K. H. and Hoffman, G. J., 2002. A paradigm shift in irrigation management. Journal of irrigation and drainage engineering, 128 (5), pp. 267-277.
5. Bouman, B. A. M., 2007. A conceptual framework for the improvement of crop water productivity at different spatial scales. Agricultural systems, 93 (1-3), pp. 43-60.
6. English, M. and Raja, S. N. 1996. Perspectives on deficit irrigation. Agricultural Water Management, 32 (1): 1-14.
7. Kirda, C., 2002. Deficit irrigation scheduling based on plant growth stages showing water stress tolerance. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Deficit Irrigation Practices, Water Reports, 22 (102).
8. Mansouri-Far, C., Sanavy, S. A. M. M. and Saberali, S. F., 2010. Maize yield response to deficit irrigation during low-sensitive growth stages and nitrogen rate under semi-arid climatic conditions. Agricultural Water Management, 97 (1), pp. 12-22.
9. Payero, J. O., Tarkalson, D. D., Irmak, S., Davison, D. and Petersen, J. L., 2008. Effect of irrigation amounts applied with subsurface drip irrigation on corn evapotranspiration, yield, water use efficiency, and dry matter production in a semiarid climate. Agricultural water management, 95 (8), pp. 895-908.
10. Norton, N. A., Clark, R. T. and Schneekloth, J. P., 2000. Effects of alternative irrigation allocations on water use, net returns, and marginal user costs.
11. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). 2002. Deficit irrigation practice. Water Reports Paper 22. FAO, Rome, Italy.
12. Lamont, W. J., 1999. The use of different colored mulches for yield and earliness. In Proceedings of the New England vegetable and berry growers conference and trade show, Sturbridge, Mass (pp. 299-302).
13. Sweat, M., 2007. Plasticulture technology for vegetable production. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, North Florida Research and Education Center. Suwanee Valley (FL): University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service. URL: http://nfrec-sv. ifas. ufl. edu/mulch. htm (accessed 10 Sep 2009).
14. Yang, N., Sun, Z. X., Feng, L. S., Zheng, M. Z., Chi, D. C., Meng, W. Z., Hou, Z. Y., Bai, W. and Li, K. Y., 2015. Plastic film mulching for water-efficient agricultural applications and degradable films materials development research. Materials and Manufacturing Processes, 30 (2), pp. 143-154.
15. Kader, M. A., Senge, M., Mojid, M. A. and Nakamura, K., 2017. Mulching type-induced soil moisture and temperature regimes and water use efficiency of soybean under rain-fed condition in central Japan. International Soil and Water Conservation Research, 5 (4), pp. 302-308.
16. Zribi, W., Aragüés, R., Medina, E. and Faci, J. M., 2015. Efficiency of inorganic and organic mulching materials for soil evaporation control. Soil and Tillage Research, 148, pp. 40-45.
17. Qin, S., Li, S., Kang, S., Du, T., Tong, L. and Ding, R., 2016. Can the drip irrigation under film mulch reduce crop evapotranspiration and save water under the sufficient irrigation condition?. Agricultural Water Management, 177, pp. 128-137.
18. Kader, M. A., Nakamura, K., Senge, M., Mojid, M. A. and Kawashima, S., 2019. Numerical simulation of water-and heat-flow regimes of mulched soil in rain-fed soybean field in central Japan. Soil and Tillage Research, 191, pp. 142-155.
19. Steinmetz, Z., Wollmann, C., Schaefer, M., Buchmann, C., David, J., Tröger, J., Muñoz, K., Frör, O. and Schaumann, G. E., 2016. Plastic mulching in agriculture. Trading short-term agronomic benefits for long-term soil degradation? Science of the total environment, 550, pp. 690-705.
20. Sangakkara, U. R., Attanayake, K. B., Gajanayake, J. N. and Bandaranayake, P. S. D. R., 2004, September. Impact of mulches on growth and yields of cassava and sweet potato in tropical Asia. In New directions for a diverse planet: Proceedings of the 4th International Crop Science Congress Brisbane, Australia, Brisbane.
21. Cooper, A. J., 1973. Root temperatures and plant growth. Res. Rev. 4, Commonwealth Bureau of Horticulture and Plantation Crops.
22. Menezes, S. M., Navais, D. E., Sontos, H. L. and Dos, M. A., 1974. The effect of nitrogen fertilization, plant spacing and mulching on the yield of garlic cultivar Amarante. Revista Ceres, 21, pp. 203-211.
23. Chung, H. D., 1987. Effects of PE film mulching, sulphur application and different levels of nitrogen and potassium on growth, flower-stalk elongation, bulbing, and leaf tip yellowing of garlic, allium sativum L. cv. Euisung. Han'guk Wonye Hakhoe chi= Journal of the Korean Society for Horticultural Science.
24. Rathore, A. L., Pal, A. R. and Sahu, K. K., 1998. Tillage and mulching effects on water use, root growth and yield of rainfed mustard and chickpea grown after lowland rice. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 78 (2), pp. 149-161.
25. Chattha, T. H. and Hayat, R., 2005. Growth and Yield response of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) to organic and inorganic mulches. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences.
26. Takatori, F. H., Lippert, L. F. and Whiting, F. L., 1964. The effect of petroleum mulch and polyethylene films on soil temperature and plant growth. In Proc. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci (Vol. 85, pp. 532-540).
27. Vandenberg, J. and Tiessen, H., 1972. Influence of Wax-coated and Polyethylene-coated Paper Mulch on Growth and Flowering of Tomato1. HortScience, 7 (5), pp. 464-465.
28. Mullins, C. A., Straw, R. A. and Rutledge, A. D., 1992. Tomato production with fertigation and black plastic mulch. Tennessee farm and home science: progress report-Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station (USA).
29. Lamont Jr, W. J., 2017. Plastic mulches for the production of vegetable crops. In A guide to the manufacture, performance, and potential of plastics in agriculture (pp. 45-60). Elsevier.
30. Clarkson, V. A., 1956. Effect of paper and polyethylene mulches and plastic caps on cantaloupe yields and earliness. In American society for horticultural science (Vol. 69, pp. 400-404).
31. Clarkson, V. A., 1960. Effect of black polyethylene mulch on soil and microclimate temperature and nitrate level. Agronomy Journal, 52 (6), pp. 307-309.
32. Brunini, O. and Santos, J. M. D., 1976. Estudo micrometeorológico com cenouras (var. nantes) I-Influência da temperatura do ar. Bragantia, 35, pp. 41-47.
33. Haynes, R. J., 1987. The use of polyethylene mulches to change soil microclimate as revealed by enzyme activity and biomass nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus. Biology and Fertility of soils, 5, pp. 235-240.
34. Ekern, P. C., 1967. Soil Moisture and Soil Temperature Changes with the Use of Black Vapor-Barrier Mulch and Their Influence on Pineapple (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.) Growth in Hawaii. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 31 (2), pp. 270-275.
35. Biswas, S. K., Sarker, P. K., Islam, A. M., Bhuiyan, M. A. and Kundu, B. C., 2003. Effect of irrigation on onion production. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences (Pakistan).
36. Kiptoo, S., Kipkorir, E. C. and Kiptum, C. K., 2018. Effects of deficit irrigation and mulch on yield and quality of potato crop.
37. Memon, M. S., Zhou, J., Guo, J., Ullah, F., Hassan, M., Ara, S. and Ji, C., 2017. Comprehensive review for the effects of ridge furrow plastic mulching on crop yield and water use efficiency under different crops. Int Agri Eng J, 26 (2), pp. 58-67.
38. Gulshan Mahajan, Rakesh Sharda, Ashwani Kumar and K. G. Singh Effect of plastic mulch on economizing irrigation water and weed control in baby corn sown by different methods African Journal of Agricultural Research Vol. 2 (1), pp. 019-026, (2007).
39. Wang X, Xing Y. 2016 Effects of mulching and nitrogen on soil nitrate –N distribution, Leaching and Nitrogen Use efficiency of maize (zeamays L.). PLoS ONE 11 (8).
40. T. Oweis, M. Pala, J. Ryan. Stabilizing rainfed wheat yields with supplemental irrigation and nitrogen in a Mediteranean climate, Agronmy Journal, Vol. 20, 672–681, 1998.
41. Shahid, M. S. I. Zamir, T. Rasool and W. Akbar. 2014. Effect of tillage and mulching on soil fertility and grain yield of sorghum. Sci. Agri. 4: 31-36.
42. Zohaib, A., Ehsanullah, T. Tabassum, T. Abbas and T. Rasool. 2014. Influence of water soluble phenolics of Vicia sativa L. on germination and seedling growth of pulse crops. Sci. Agri. 8: 148-151.
43. Bu, Y. S., H. L. Shao and J. C. Wang. 2002. Effects of different mulch materials on corn seeding growth and soil nutrients contents and distributions. J. Soil Water Conserv. 16: 40-42.
44. Li R, Hou X, Jia Z, Han Q, Ren X, Yang B (2013) Effects on soil temperature, moisture, and maize yield of cultivation with ridge and furrow mulching in the rainfed area of the Loess Plateau, China. Agric Water Manag [Internet]. 116: 101–109.
45. Igbadun, H. E., A. A. Ramalan and E. Oiganji. 2012. Effects of regulated deficit irrigation and mulch on yield, water use and crop water productivity of onion in Samaru, Nigeria. Journal of Agricultural Water Management, 109: 162–169.
46. Bekele Samson and Tilahun Ketema. 2007. Regulated deficit irrigation scheduling of onion in a semi-arid region of Ethiopia. Journal of Agricultural Water Management, 89: 148-152.
47. Ramalan, A. A., Nega, H. and Oyebode, M. 2010. Effect of deficit irrigation and mulch on water use and yield of drip irrigated onions. WIT Trans Ecological Environ, 134: 3950.
48. Bhagyawant, R. G., S. D. Gorantiwar, S. D. Dahiwalkar, M. N. Bhalekar, and D. D. Khedkar. 2014. Effect of deficit irrigation on growth, yield and quality of onion. Bionfolet, 11: 341-43.
49. Mehmood, S., T. Rasool, M. Iqbal, M. Iqbal, I. Haq and M. Sohail. 2015. Effect of plastic mulch and different irrigation practices on soil properties, nutrient contents and their availability in Maize. Journal of Environmental & Agricultural Sciences. 3: 35-41.
50. Zhang, H., Pala, M., Oweis, T., Harris, H. 2000. Water use and water use efficiency of chickpea and lentil in a Mediterranean environment. Austeralian Journal of Agricultural Research. 51, 295–305.