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Water 2018, 10(3), 314;

Optimized Subsurface Irrigation System: The Future of Sugarcane Irrigation

United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Kagoshima University, 1-21-24 Korimoto, Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima 890-0065, Japan
Faculty of Agriculture, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Puliyankulama, Anuradhapura 50000, Sri Lanka
Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, 1 Senbaru, Nishihara-cho, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan
Faculty of Agriculture, Kagoshima University, 1-21-24 Korimoto, Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima 890-8580, Japan
Paddy Research Co., Ltd., 9 Haraoka, Minamikawa-machi, Tome-shi, Miyagi 987-0432, Japan
Midori Net Okinawa, 453-3 Motobu, Haebaru-cho, Okinawa 901-1112, Japan
Institute for Rural Engineering, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, 3-1-1 Kannondai, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8517, Japan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 28 February 2018 / Accepted: 10 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Scarcity)
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Climate change may harm the growth and yield of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) without the introduction of appropriate irrigation facilities. Therefore, new irrigation methods should be developed to maximize water use efficiency and reduce operational costs. OPSIS (optimized subsurface irrigation system) is a new solar-powered automatic subsurface irrigation system that creates a phreatic zone below crop roots and relies on capillarity to supply water to the root zone. It is designed for upland crops such as sugarcane. We investigated the performance of OPSIS for irrigating sugarcane and evaluated its performance against sprinkler irrigation under subtropical conditions. We conducted field experiments in Okinawa, Japan, over the period from 2013 to 2016 and took measurements during spring- and summer-planted main crops and two ratoon crops of the spring-planted crop. Compared with sprinkler irrigation, OPSIS produced a significantly higher fresh cane yield, consumed less irrigation water and provided a higher irrigation water use efficiency. We conclude that OPSIS could be adopted as a sustainable solution to sugarcane irrigation in Okinawa and similar environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: fresh cane weight; optimized subsurface irrigation (OPSIS); sprinkler irrigation; sugarcane; water use efficiency fresh cane weight; optimized subsurface irrigation (OPSIS); sprinkler irrigation; sugarcane; water use efficiency

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Gunarathna, M.H.J.P.; Sakai, K.; Nakandakari, T.; Momii, K.; Onodera, T.; Kaneshiro, H.; Uehara, H.; Wakasugi, K. Optimized Subsurface Irrigation System: The Future of Sugarcane Irrigation. Water 2018, 10, 314.

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