, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 37-48
Date: 17 Aug 2005

Simulation of furrow irrigation practices (SOFIP): a field-scale modelling of water management and crop yield for furrow irrigation

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Because of the spatial and temporal variabilities of the advance infiltration process, furrow irrigation investigations should not be limited to a single furrow irrigation event when using a modelling approach. The paper deals with the development and application of simulation of furrow irrigation practices (SOFIP), a model used to analyse furrow irrigation practices that take into account spatial and temporal variabilities of the advance infiltration process. SOFIP can be used to compare alternative furrow irrigation management strategies and find options that mitigate local deep-percolation risks while ensuring a crop yield level that is acceptable to the farmer. The model is comprised of three distinct modelling elements. The first element is RAIEOPT, a hydraulic model that predicts the advance infiltration process. Infiltration prediction in RAIEOPT depends on a soil moisture deficit parameter. PILOTE, a crop model, which is designed to simulate soil water balance and predict yield values, updates the soil moisture parameter. This parameter is an input of a parameter generator (PG), the third model component, which in turn provides RAIEOPT with the data required to simulate irrigation at the scale of an N-furrow set. The study of sources of variability and their impact on irrigation advance, based on field observations, allowed us to build a robust PG. Model applications show that irrigation practices must account for inter-furrow advance variability when optimising furrow irrigation systems. The impact of advance variability on deep percolation and crop yield losses depends on both climatic conditions and irrigation practices.

Communicated by J. Ayars