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Open AccessArticle

Experimental Evaluation for the Impacts of Conservation Agriculture with Drip Irrigation on Crop Coefficient and Soil Properties in the Sub-Humid Ethiopian Highlands

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Faculty of Civil and Water Resource Engineering, Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University 26, Ethiopia
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Department of Water Technology, Bahir Dar Poly Technique Collage, Bahir Dar 26, Ethiopia
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Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina A & T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
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Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL), Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(4), 947; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040947
Received: 12 February 2020 / Revised: 18 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Scarcity)
A field experiment consists of conservation agriculture (CA) and conventional tillage (CT) practices were set up in two areas, Robit and Dangishta, in sub-humid Ethiopian highlands. Irrigation water use, soil moisture, and agronomic data were monitored, and laboratory testing was conducted for soil samples, which were collected from 0 to 40 cm depth before planting and after harvest during the study period of 2015–2017. Calculation of crop coefficient (Kc) revealed a significant decrease in Kc values under CA as compared to CT. The result depicted that CA with a drip irrigation system significantly (α = 0.05) reduced Kc values of crops as compared to CT. Specifically, 20% reductions were observed for onion, cabbage, and garlic under CA whereas 10% reductions were observed for pepper throughout the crop base period. Consequently, irrigation water measurement showed that about 18% to 28% of a significant irrigation water savings were observed for the range of vegetables under CA as compared to CT. On the other hand, the results of soil measurement showed the CA practice significantly (α = 0.05) increased soil moisture (4%, 7%, 8%, and 10% increment for onion, cabbage, garlic, pepper) than CT practice even if irrigation input was small in CA practice. In addition, CA was found to improve the soil physico-chemical properties with significant improvement on organic matter (10%), field capacity (4%), and total nitrogen (10%) in the Dangishta experimental site. CA with drip irrigation is evidenced to be an efficient water-saving technology while improving soil properties to support sustainable intensification in the region. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop coefficient; soil properties; soil moisture; conservation agriculture; drip irrigation; Ethiopian highlands crop coefficient; soil properties; soil moisture; conservation agriculture; drip irrigation; Ethiopian highlands
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Yimam, A.Y.; Assefa, T.T.; Adane, N.F.; Tilahun, S.A.; Jha, M.K.; Reyes, M.R. Experimental Evaluation for the Impacts of Conservation Agriculture with Drip Irrigation on Crop Coefficient and Soil Properties in the Sub-Humid Ethiopian Highlands. Water 2020, 12, 947.

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