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Open AccessArticle

Improving Water Use in Fodder Production

Departamento de Patología Animal, Producción Animal y Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos, Grupo investigación GEOVOL, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 35000, Spain
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Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Water 2015, 7(6), 2612-2621; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7062612
Received: 13 April 2015 / Revised: 10 May 2015 / Accepted: 21 May 2015 / Published: 27 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study, Development and Management of Water in Volcanic Areas)
Water deficit in semi-arid regions limits the future of the livestock sector. Also, its high price represents a percentage of the total cost of forage production. Non-conventional water resources applied by subsurface drip irrigation (SDI), in which the safe use lies in the management and not on the level of water treatment, would enhance the ruminant production sustainability. To obtain the optimal benefit, the transformation of water per kilogram of dry matter produced must have a high grade of effectiveness. Under this premise, a maralfalfa crop (Penissetum sp, hybridum) has been established with an SDI system and reclaimed water. Forage yield is analyzed with respect to a 40% irrigation reduction. This study shows that, with the use of these good irrigation management practices, it is possible to harvest an annual production of 90 to 72 t·ha−1 in the warmer regions of the Canary Islands. This implies water consumption between 13,200 and 8100 m3·ha−1. A water consumption of 21,000 m3·ha−1 per year for the same production, at a ratio of 230 L·t−1, can be estimated for the rest of the Canary Islands coastal regions. The use of the water management described in this paper can be profitable in the Canary Islands for fodder production. View Full-Text
Keywords: water consumption coefficient; maralfalfa; subsurface drip irrigation; reclaimed water; water use efficiency (WUE) water consumption coefficient; maralfalfa; subsurface drip irrigation; reclaimed water; water use efficiency (WUE)
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Mendoza-Grimón, V.; Hernández-Moreno, J.M.; Palacios-Díaz, M.D.P. Improving Water Use in Fodder Production. Water 2015, 7, 2612-2621.

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