Special Issue "Innovative Approaches to Agricultural Water Management"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Mohammad Valipour

Department of Water Engineering, Kermanshah Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah, Iran
Website | E-Mail
Interests: surface and pressurized irrigation; drainage engineering; agricultural water management; evapotranspiration; climate change and variability; hydrometeorology; hydroclimatology; hydroinformatics; mathematical and computer modeling and optimization; relationship between energy and environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water management plays a vital role in the agricultural productivity and agricultural growth. The most of renewable water resources worldwide are being presently utilized for irrigation purposes. However, the average water use efficiency of Irrigation Projects is too low. Innovative approaches in agricultural water management can enhance water efficiency, gaining an economic advantage while also reducing environmental problems. In some cases, the necessary knowledge has been provided by extension services, helping farmers to adapt and implement viable solutions, thus gaining more benefits from irrigation technology. There is no doubt that modernization of irrigation systems, such as pressurized irrigation, concrete lining to the inner surface of the open channel, canal automation, etc., will save water significantly. However, these methods need a great deal of capital investment, hence, uneasy to adopt. On this background, it is appropriate to know the innovative, easy to adopt, simple, and low cost water conveyance approaches used all over the world to expand them to other regions. The papers that are submitted to this Special Issue, may discuss the need to increase and improve innovative methods for agricultural water management of existing irrigation investigations/projects and new projects and the success case studies in detail. It is anticipated that such pioneering techniques shall be implemented in the command areas of other irrigation projects as and where found to be techno-economically feasible to achieve improvements in crop yield and appropriate agricultural water management with high water-use efficiency.

In this Special Issue, spotlighting the role of innovative techniques in agricultural water management, manuscripts (original research articles, review articles, case studies, commentaries, discussions, technical notes, editorials, forums, short communication, and book reviews) are invited to include, but are not limited to, these topics:

Dr. Mohammad Valipour
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Agricultural water management
  • Deficit irrigation
  • Drainage engineering
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Fertilization
  • Flood control
  • Food security
  • Irrigation and wastewater
  • Irrigation scheduling
  • Land use policy
  • Nutrient loss
  • Organic agriculture
  • Precision agriculture
  • Pressurized irrigation
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Remote sensing
  • Surface irrigation
  • Water use efficiency
  • Water footprint
  • Water policy

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Assessment of Photosynthetic Pigment and Water Contents in Intact Sunflower Plants from Spectral Indices
Agriculture 2017, 7(2), 8; doi:10.3390/agriculture7020008
Received: 13 December 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2017 / Published: 6 February 2017
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Abstract
Under water-limited conditions, monitoring water and chlorophyll status is essential to avoid restrictions in crop growth and yield. This study was carried out to assess water and chlorophyll contents from spectral indices in sunflower plants. The hybrid Sunbright Supreme was cultivated inside a
[...] Read more.
Under water-limited conditions, monitoring water and chlorophyll status is essential to avoid restrictions in crop growth and yield. This study was carried out to assess water and chlorophyll contents from spectral indices in sunflower plants. The hybrid Sunbright Supreme was cultivated inside a non-acclimatized greenhouse until the start of the flowering stage, and later was maintained in a growth chamber with the purpose of submitting the plants to a slow and progressive dehydration rate for 12 consecutive days. Spectral (reflectance and transmittance), leaf masses (fresh and dry), and total chlorophyll measurements were accomplished in sunflower plants. The water stress caused a reduction in the water and chlorophyll contents, resulting in linear and nonlinear decreases for the spectral indicators Water Index (WI) and Chlorophyll Content Index (CCI), respectively. The low scattering of the average values around the fitted models indicates that WI and CCI were effective in representing changes in water and chlorophyll status for sunflowers (R2 = 0.912 and R2 = 0.905). The benefits of using hand-held optical meters for reflectance and transmittance are that they enable rapid, accurate, and nondestructive assessments of water and chlorophyll contents in sunflower plants from radiometric indicators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Approaches to Agricultural Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle Sorghum Biomass Production for Energy Purpose Using Treated Urban Wastewater and Different Fertilization in a Mediterranean Environment
Agriculture 2016, 6(4), 67; doi:10.3390/agriculture6040067
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 13 December 2016 / Published: 21 December 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1618 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the aim at enhancing the sustainability of biomass production in the Mediterranean area, this paper analyzes, for the first time, the production of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) biomass for bioenergy production using urban treated wastewaters and bio-fertilization. For this purpose,
[...] Read more.
With the aim at enhancing the sustainability of biomass production in the Mediterranean area, this paper analyzes, for the first time, the production of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) biomass for bioenergy production using urban treated wastewaters and bio-fertilization. For this purpose, the effects on biomass production of three different fertilizations (no-nitrogen control, biofertilizer, and mineral ammonium nitrate), four levels of constructed wetland (CW) wastewater restitutions (0%, 33%, 66% and 100%) of crop evapotranspiration (ETc) and three harvesting dates (at full plant maturity, at the initial senescence stage, and at the post-senescence stage) were evaluated in a two year trial. For bio-fertilization, a commercial product based on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi was used. Mineral nitrogen (N) fertilization significantly increased dry biomass (+22.8% in the first year and +16.8% in the second year) compared to the control (95.9 and 188.2 g·plant−1, respectively). The lowest and highest biomass production, in 2008 and 2009, was found at 0% (67.1 and 118.2 g·plant−1) and 100% (139.2 and 297.4 g·plant−1) ETc restitutions. In both years, the first harvest gave the highest biomass yield (124.3 g·plant−1 in the first year and 321.3 g·plant−1 in the second), followed by the second and the third one. The results showed that in Mediterranean areas, constructed wetlands treated wastewaters, when complying with the European restrictions for their use in agriculture, may represent an important tool to enhance and stabilize the biomass of energy crops by recycling scarce quality water and nutrients otherwise lost in the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Approaches to Agricultural Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle Sustaining Chili Pepper Production in Afghanistan through Better Irrigation Practices and Management
Agriculture 2016, 6(4), 62; doi:10.3390/agriculture6040062
Received: 16 September 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
Water management and utilization is an ongoing problem in developing countries with semi-arid to arid climates such as Afghanistan. The lack of effective irrigation systems are oftentimes the most limiting factor for maximizing agricultural productivity in these countries. In Afghanistan, the most widely
[...] Read more.
Water management and utilization is an ongoing problem in developing countries with semi-arid to arid climates such as Afghanistan. The lack of effective irrigation systems are oftentimes the most limiting factor for maximizing agricultural productivity in these countries. In Afghanistan, the most widely used irrigation methods are basin/border for cereal crops and furrow for vegetables and grapes, although drip irrigation is a technology that could be used to significantly improve water use efficiency (WUE) in horticultural crop production. Therefore, three irrigation methods (basin, furrow, and drip) were evaluated for their influences on chili pepper production and WUE at the Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) Badam Bagh Agricultural Research and Demonstration Farm in Kabul over the 2009 and 2010 growing seasons. Results from this study indicated that both drip and furrow irrigation provided similar high chili pepper plant growth and yield responses compared to the low amounts provided by basin irrigation (p ≤ 0.05). The drip and furrow irrigation methods provided a similar low incidence of Phytophthora blight disease, as 4% and 7% of chili pepper plants were visually afflicted by this disease, respectively, while an astounding 69% of chili peppers grown with basin irrigation had symptoms of this disease. Drip irrigation resulted in the best overall WUE (p ≤ 0.05), as this water delivery method utilized the least amount of water and provided the highest chili pepper yield. Furrow irrigation provided a lower WUE compared to drip, but was greater than that of basin irrigation. Although this study indicated that drip irrigation had the greatest WUE for chili pepper production, furrow irrigation is still the method of choice by farmers in Afghanistan to provide water to this crop. The associated costs with pressurized drip irrigation systems are too expensive for farmers to purchase and maintain, which has led to the widespread use of surface irrigation. Moreover, the resistance of growers to change to newer and more advanced technologies is commonplace in many developing countries, and without some type of improvement to current water management practices at the farm level, there is a bleak outlook to maximize agricultural productivity in these areas of the world with limited rainfall and minimal water resources. Although it is essential to sustain this important resource through better irrigation management practices, on-farm agricultural economics are often more important than the needs of future generations and the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Approaches to Agricultural Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle Seasonal Canopy Temperatures for Normal and Okra Leaf Cotton under Variable Irrigation in the Field
Agriculture 2016, 6(4), 58; doi:10.3390/agriculture6040058
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 20 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 4 November 2016
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Abstract
Temperature affects a number of physiological factors in plants and is related to water use, yield and quality in many crop species. Seasonal canopy temperature, measured with infrared thermometers, is often used in conjunction with environmental factors (e.g., air temperature, humidity, solar radiation)
[...] Read more.
Temperature affects a number of physiological factors in plants and is related to water use, yield and quality in many crop species. Seasonal canopy temperature, measured with infrared thermometers, is often used in conjunction with environmental factors (e.g., air temperature, humidity, solar radiation) to assess crop stress and management actions in cotton. Normal and okra leaf shapes in cotton have been associated with differences in water use and canopy temperature. The okra leaf shape in cotton is generally expected to result in lower water use and lower canopy temperatures, relative to normal leaf, under water deficits. In this study canopy temperatures were monitored in okra and normal leaf varieties for a growing season at four irrigation levels. Differences in canopy temperature (<2 °C) were measured between the two leaf shapes. As irrigation levels increased, canopy temperature differences between the leaf shapes declined. At the lowest irrigation level, when differences in sensible energy exchanges due to the okra leaf shape would be enhanced, the canopy temperature of the okra leaf was warmer than the normal leaf. This suggests that varietal differences that are not related to leaf shape may have more than compensated for leaf shape differences in the canopy temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Approaches to Agricultural Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle How Much Meteorological Information Is Necessary to Achieve Reliable Accuracy for Rainfall Estimations?
Agriculture 2016, 6(4), 53; doi:10.3390/agriculture6040053
Received: 15 September 2016 / Revised: 4 October 2016 / Accepted: 10 October 2016 / Published: 14 October 2016
Cited by 71 | PDF Full-text (1383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reports the study of the effect of the length of the recorded data used for monthly rainfall forecasting. Monthly rainfall data for three periods of 5, 10, and 49 years were collected from Kermanshah, Mashhad, Ahvaz, and Babolsar stations and used
[...] Read more.
This paper reports the study of the effect of the length of the recorded data used for monthly rainfall forecasting. Monthly rainfall data for three periods of 5, 10, and 49 years were collected from Kermanshah, Mashhad, Ahvaz, and Babolsar stations and used for calibration time series models. Then, the accuracy of the forecasting models was investigated by the following year’s data. The following was concluded: In temperate and semi-arid climates, 60 observation data is sufficient for the following year’s rainfall forecasting. The accuracy of the time series models increased with increasing amounts of observation data of arid and humid climates. Time series models are appropriate tools for forecasting monthly rainfall forecasting in semi-arid climates. Determining the most critical rainfall month in each climate condition for agriculture schedules is a recommended aim for future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Approaches to Agricultural Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle Irrigation Analysis Based on Long-Term Weather Data
Agriculture 2016, 6(3), 42; doi:10.3390/agriculture6030042
Received: 11 July 2016 / Revised: 18 August 2016 / Accepted: 22 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6760 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Irrigation management is based upon delivery of water to a crop in the correct amount and time, and the crop’s water need is determined by calculating evapotranspiration (ET) using weather data. In 1994, an ET-network was established in the Texas High Plains to
[...] Read more.
Irrigation management is based upon delivery of water to a crop in the correct amount and time, and the crop’s water need is determined by calculating evapotranspiration (ET) using weather data. In 1994, an ET-network was established in the Texas High Plains to manage irrigation on a regional scale. Though producers used the ET-network, by 2010 public access was discontinued. Why did producers allow a valuable irrigation-management tool to be eliminated? Our objective was to analyze the effect of declining well capacities on the usefulness of cotton ET (ETc) for irrigation. Thirty years (1975–2004) of daily ETc data were used to compare irrigation demand vs. irrigation responses at four locations, analyzed for multiple years and range of well capacities for three irrigation-intervals. Results indicated that when well capacities declined to the point that over-irrigation was not possible, the lower well capacities reduced the value of ETc in terms of the number of irrigations and total amount of water applied. At well capacities <1514 L·min−1 the fraction of irrigations for which ETc information was used to determine the irrigation amount was <35% across years and irrigation intervals. The value of an ETc-based irrigation may fall into disuse when irrigation-water supplies decline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Approaches to Agricultural Water Management)
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