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Simulation of Water-Use Efficiency of Crops under Different Irrigation Strategies

Department of Water Resources, School of Agricultural Engineering, University of Concepción, Chillán 3812120, Chile
Centro de Sustentabilidad y Gestión Estratégica de Recursos (CiSGER), Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad del Desarrollo, Las Condes 7610658, Chile
Water Research Center for Agriculture and Mining (CRHIAM), ANID/FONDAP-15130015, Chillán 3812120, Chile
Institute of Hydrology and Meteorology, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany
Departamento de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad del Bío-Bío, Chillán 3812120, Chile
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(10), 2930;
Received: 31 July 2020 / Revised: 9 October 2020 / Accepted: 13 October 2020 / Published: 20 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Scarcity)
Irrigation management is a key factor in attaining optimal yields, as different irrigation strategies lead to different yields even when using the same amount of water or under the same weather conditions. Our research aimed to simulate the water-use efficiency (WUE) of crops considering different irrigation strategies in the Central Valley of Chile. By means of AquaCrop-OS, we simulated expected yields for combinations of crops (maize, sugar beet, wheat), soil (clay loam, loam, silty clay loam, and silty loam), and bulk density. Thus, we tested four watering strategies: rainfed, soil moisture-based irrigation, irrigation with a fixed interval every 1, 3, 5, and 7 days, and an algorithm for optimal irrigation scheduling under water supply constraints (GET-OPTIS). The results showed that an efficient irrigation strategy must account for soil and crop characteristics. Among the tested strategies, GET-OPTIS led to the best performance for crop yield, water use, water-use efficiency, and profit, followed by the soil moisture-based strategy. Thus, soil type has an important influence on the yield and performance of different irrigation strategies, as it provides a significant storage and buffer for plants, making it possible to produce “more crop per drop”. This work can serve as a methodological guide for simulating the water-use efficiency of crops and can be used alongside evidence from the field. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop yield; water use; irrigation management crop yield; water use; irrigation management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kuschel-Otárola, M.; Rivera, D.; Holzapfel, E.; Schütze, N.; Neumann, P.; Godoy-Faúndez, A. Simulation of Water-Use Efficiency of Crops under Different Irrigation Strategies. Water 2020, 12, 2930.

AMA Style

Kuschel-Otárola M, Rivera D, Holzapfel E, Schütze N, Neumann P, Godoy-Faúndez A. Simulation of Water-Use Efficiency of Crops under Different Irrigation Strategies. Water. 2020; 12(10):2930.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kuschel-Otárola, Mathias, Diego Rivera, Eduardo Holzapfel, Niels Schütze, Patricio Neumann, and Alex Godoy-Faúndez. 2020. "Simulation of Water-Use Efficiency of Crops under Different Irrigation Strategies" Water 12, no. 10: 2930.

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