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Climate 2016, 4(1), 4;

Impact of Irrigation Method on Water Use Efficiency and Productivity of Fodder Crops in Nepal

Institute for Global Agriculture & Technology Transfer (IGATT), Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Department of Soil Science and Agri-Engineering, Institute of Agriculture and Animal Sciences, Tribhuwan University, Rampur, Chitwan 44209, Nepal
Directorate of Continuing Education Center, Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan 44209, Nepal
The Small Earth Nepal, 626 Bhakti Thapa Sadak, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
NOAA-Cooperative Remote Sensing Science & Technology (CREST) Center, The City College of New York, City University of New York, New York, NY 10031, USA
Department of Civil Engineering and NOAA-CREST, The City College of New York, City University of New York, New York, NY 10031, USA
Department of Geosciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2015 / Revised: 16 December 2015 / Accepted: 23 December 2015 / Published: 5 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Development in South Asia)
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Improved irrigation use efficiency is an important tool for intensifying and diversifying agriculture in Nepal, resulting in higher economic yield from irrigated farmlands with a minimum input of water. Research was conducted to evaluate the effect of irrigation method (furrow vs. drip) on the productivity of nutritious fodder species during off-monsoon dry periods in different elevation zones of central Nepal. A split-block factorial design was used. The factors considered were treatment location, fodder crop, and irrigation method. Commonly used local agronomical practices were followed in all respects except irrigation method. Results revealed that location effect was significant (p < 0.01) with highest fodder productivity seen for the middle elevation site, Syangja. Species effects were also significant, with teosinte (Euchlaena mexicana) having higher yield than cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). Irrigation method impacted green biomass yield (higher with furrow irrigation) but both methods yielded similar dry biomass, while water use was 73% less under drip irrigation. Our findings indicated that the controlled application of water through drip irrigation is able to produce acceptable yields of nutritionally dense fodder species during dry seasons, leading to more effective utilization and resource conservation of available land, fertilizer and water. Higher productivity of these nutritional fodders resulted in higher milk productivity for livestock smallholders. The ability to grow fodder crops year-round in lowland and hill regions of Nepal with limited water storages using low-cost, water-efficient drip irrigation may greatly increase livestock productivity and, hence, the economic security of smallholder farmers. View Full-Text
Keywords: Irrigation efficiency; drip irrigation; forage biomass; Nepal Irrigation efficiency; drip irrigation; forage biomass; Nepal

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Jha, A.K.; Malla, R.; Sharma, M.; Panthi, J.; Lakhankar, T.; Krakauer, N.Y.; Pradhanang, S.M.; Dahal, P.; Shrestha, M.L. Impact of Irrigation Method on Water Use Efficiency and Productivity of Fodder Crops in Nepal. Climate 2016, 4, 4.

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