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Simple ETo-Based Rules for Irrigation Scheduling by Smallholder Vegetable Farmers in Laos and Cambodia

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Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 3523, Burnie, TAS 7320, Australia
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Centre for Agricultural Engineering, University of Southern Queensland, West St., Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia
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Soil and Water R&D Unit, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Trangie Agricultural Research Centre, Trangie, NSW 2823, Australia
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School of Life and Environmental Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
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Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, National Road No 3, Preteah Lang Commune, Dangkor 12413, Cambodia
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Faculty of Agriculture, National University of Laos, Nabong Campus, Vientiane 0106, Laos
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Horticultural Research Centre, National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute, Vientiane 0106, Laos
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College of Science and Engineering, University of Tasmania, Locked Bag 1354, Launceston, TAS 7250, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Arturo Alvino and Xinchun Cao
Water 2022, 14(13), 2010; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132010
Received: 29 April 2022 / Revised: 20 June 2022 / Accepted: 21 June 2022 / Published: 23 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Water, Agriculture and Aquaculture)
Hand-held hoses and watering cans are widely used by smallholder farmers to irrigate vegetables in Cambodia and Laos. Overwatering is common. Technology change (e.g., low-pressure drip irrigation) has been used to improve irrigation efficiency but can be unaffordable for many smallholder farmers. The purpose of this study was to identify an appropriate method of predicting crop water demand, develop and field-test improved irrigation schedules for smallholder leafy vegetable farming based on that method, and then develop extension tools to communicate the schedules to smallholder farmers. Improved irrigation schedules for leafy vegetables were developed based on a crop water use prediction technique that is well established (the Penman–Monteith method) but beyond the capacity of smallholder farmers to implement without access to simple aids. Compared to conventional practice, the method approximately halved water and labour use and improved irrigation water productivity 2–3 fold in field research and demonstration trials. Simplified extension tools to assist smallholder farmers with practice change were developed. This work showed that significant efficiencies could be gained through improved irrigation scheduling without changing application technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: irrigation; leafy vegetables; evapotranspiration; nomograph; water productivity irrigation; leafy vegetables; evapotranspiration; nomograph; water productivity
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MDPI and ACS Style

McPhee, J.; Eberhard, J.; Melland, A.; Uddin, J.; Dunn, L.; Hin, S.; Lim, V.; Touch, V.; Sisouvanh, P.; Somphou, I.; Vilayphone, T.; Mounsena, P.; Ives, S. Simple ETo-Based Rules for Irrigation Scheduling by Smallholder Vegetable Farmers in Laos and Cambodia. Water 2022, 14, 2010. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132010

AMA Style

McPhee J, Eberhard J, Melland A, Uddin J, Dunn L, Hin S, Lim V, Touch V, Sisouvanh P, Somphou I, Vilayphone T, Mounsena P, Ives S. Simple ETo-Based Rules for Irrigation Scheduling by Smallholder Vegetable Farmers in Laos and Cambodia. Water. 2022; 14(13):2010. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132010

Chicago/Turabian Style

McPhee, John, Jochen Eberhard, Alice Melland, Jasim Uddin, Lucinda Dunn, Sarith Hin, Vanndy Lim, Veasna Touch, Phimmasone Sisouvanh, Inthong Somphou, Tounglien Vilayphone, Phaythoune Mounsena, and Stephen Ives. 2022. "Simple ETo-Based Rules for Irrigation Scheduling by Smallholder Vegetable Farmers in Laos and Cambodia" Water 14, no. 13: 2010. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132010

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