Comparison of Bed Planting-furrow Irrigation with Conventional Planting-flood Irrigation in Durum Wheat (T. durum Desf) in Southeastern Turkey
There is no clear consensus regarding the advantages of bed planting with furrow irrigation over conventionally irrigated cropping. This 3-year study from Southeastern Turkey aimed to assess the limits to some input savings in bed planting-furrow irrigation in terms of yields and profitability of durum wheat. Field trials were carried out using a randomized complete block design with six treatments and tree replications: T1: Conventional Planting-Flood Irrigation (CP-FI) with recommended practices for seed rate, chemical fertilizers and chemical weed control; T2: Bed Planting and Furrow Irrigation (BP-FI) with recommended input rates as in T1; T3: BP-FI with 10% input reduction; T4: BP-FI with 20% input reduction; T5: BP-FI with 30% input reduction; T6: BP-FI with 40% input reduction. The trial had four replications at each location over three cropping seasons, i.e., Akcakale (2004-05, 2005-06) and Koruklu (2006-2007). Individual and combined analysis of variance were performed for grain yields, market prices based on quality assessment, protein content and both 1000-kernel and hectoliter weights. Profitability was assessed with partial budget analysis. Except for yields, there was little effect of treatments on the other variables. Based on yields and economic analysis, the conventional system with flood irrigation was superior to the bed and furrow system, even when the inputs were reduced in such a system. The work demonstrates the site-specific nature of any new technology as there are several local biological and economical factors to be considered.
to cite this article:
Irfan Ozberk, Yalcin Coskun, Ali Ilkhan, Mehmet Koten, Bahri Karli and John Ryan, 2009. Comparison of Bed Planting-furrow Irrigation with Conventional Planting-flood Irrigation in Durum Wheat (T. durum Desf) in Southeastern Turkey. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 12: 772-778.
The environment of the Mediterranean region is characterized low and erratic
rainfall (Kassam, 1981). While, agricultural production
is practiced during the relatively moist cool season from late fall to early
summer, drought invariably limits crop yields (Cooper et
al., 1987); cropping is only possible during the dry hot summer season
with irrigation. However, the past few decades have witnessed an expansion of
irrigated agriculture from the river valleys where irrigation was practiced
for ages to areas where formerly only rain fed agriculture was possible (Oweis
et al., 1998); this expansion was driven by exploitation of groundwater
and the development new irrigation sources, such as the harnessing of the waters
of the Euphrates through the Atatürk Dam under the authority of the GAP
Project and other irrigation projects in the Middle East, with attendant social
and political concerns (El-Fadel et al., 2002).
Regardless of whether agriculture was based on rainfall or irrigation, the
limitations of the environment dictated that efficient use should be a guiding
principal (Pala et al., 2007). The management
of water in semiarid agricultural regions of the world determines their long
term sustainability for food production (Johnston et al.,
2002). Consequently, strategies such as supplemental irrigation (Oweis
et al., 1998) and an increasing shift from less efficient traditional
flood irrigation to more efficient sprinkler and drip systems gradually emerged.
The new paradigm included looking at other alternatives to the traditional
flood irrigation approach such as the bed and furrow irrigation system which
is designed to improve crop water management under limited irrigation water.
A further advancement to the bed and furrow system is development of permanent
beds, replacing the practice of post-harvest tillage and re-shaping of beds
for each crop rotation. After harvest, the permanent beds are reshaped the crop
residues retained on the field are chopped and uniformly distributed with a
little delay for seeding of next crop (Sayre, 2000).
Bed planting and furrow irrigation emerged in Sonora in Northwest Mexico in
the early 1980s and was promoted by the International Wheat and Maize
Improvement Center (CIMMYT) mainly for wheat followed by corn. The technique
spread over America first, then to West Asia and North Africa, Pakistan, India,
Bangladesh and Central Asia, including China. The system was adopted for some
other crops such as legumes, oilseeds, cotton, sugar cane and rice rotating
with wheat (Hobbs et al., 2000; Sayre
and Hobbs, 2004; Tripathi et al., 2004). The
bed planting and furrow irrigation system has been used in different countries
with varying degrees of success.
The use of permanent beds was seen as an alternative practice for wheat allowing
for the timing of N fertilizer to increase efficiency and lower production costs
(Limon-Ortega et al., 2000). The new approach was
shown to be effective for wheat in China as it resulted in a savings in water
use and an increase in water-use efficiency compared to the conventional flood
system (Fahong et al., 2004); it also reduced
lodging and diseases and increased grain quality. A key feature of the comparison
of the raised bed system with traditional flood irrigation involved crop N response
and N efficient use. Research in Bangladesh showed that maximum wheat yields
occurred with bed planting and furrow irrigation combined with 140-150 kg ha-1
(Hossain et al., 2006; Alam
et al., 2007). In contrast to these findings, research from Oklahoma
in the semi-arid Midwest USA showed that the conventional system was superior
to the raised bed system and also showed a greater response to N (Freeman
et al., 2007), a difference that was attributed to row configuration.
Despite the absence of yield advantages of bed planting and furrow irrigation
over conventional flood irrigation, the former system offers some advantages
in wheat growing: such as short turn around time for wheat/corn crop rotations,
ease in water management, allowing for more effective drainage and reduced risk
of water-logging; pre-planting irrigation and weed control; lower seeding rates;
better placement of N fertilizer and easier application of herbicides (Sayre,
2004; Aquino, 1998).
Turkey is among the ten largest wheat producers in the world (Braun,
1999). Wheat is grown 9.4 million ha, yielding 18 to 20 million tons; 25
to 30% of total wheat area and production is devoted to durum wheat, with average
annual production of 5 m tons (Ozberk et al., 2005a).
Wheat is the major cereal crop for Southeastern Anatolia with a weighted annual
production averaging over 2 million ton year-1 from the harvested
area of 1 million ha. Average wheat yield is 6 ton ha-1 under supplementary
irrigated conditions (Ozberk et al., 2005a).
Southeastern Anatolia is considered Turkeys the durum wheat belt, with
conventional planting and flood or border irrigation being commonly used. Although,
bed planting and furrow irrigation has been introduced the system has not been
adopted yet due to inadequate agricultural machinery (drill) and inadequate
adoption of wheat/corn rotation and relatively low irrigation water charges
(approximately 134.6 $US ha-1 per one wheat growing season). Furthermore,
relatively large bare strips (furrows) in the newly emerging wheat field may
have contributed to farmers hesitating to adopt this new planting system; the
perception was that low grain yields were inevitable due to large non-planted
patches in the field. Consequently, field research was needed to validate the
new system and promote adoption.
The first research results on the bed and furrow system in Sanliurfa indicated
that in terms of grain yield the new system was not superior to conventional
planting. However, irrigation management was found to be homogenous and easy
in bed planting (Kabakci, 1999). The recent increase
in salinity and an escalation in input prices (certified seed, fertilizers,
pesticides, labor) provided the rationale for the present evaluation of conventional
practice with the bed and furrow system with varying inputs in order to identify
a package of production practices economically acceptable to the regions
This study aimed to give a rapid answer to farmers questions about bed planting and furrow irrigation assessing the limits to input savings in bed planting- furrow irrigation in terms of yields and profitability of durum wheat in South-East Anatolia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Field trials were carried out at Akcakale (clay loam; pH = 7.92, P2O5 = 26.9 kg ha-1, CACO3 = 24.7%, Organic matter = 1.08-1.69%, Total N = 27 kg ha-1, Salinity = 0.062-0.082%) and Koruklu (clay) in the Harran Plain in Sanliurfa (2004/05, 2005/06 and 2006/07 cropping seasons) at the experimental field of GAPEYAM (GAP Training Extension and Research Center) as a part of cotton (first year)- [wheat + corn] (second year) rotation. Annual rainfall was 218 and 229 mm in Akcakale (long term average = 303 mm) in 2004/05 and 2005/06 cropping seasons (no rain fall during the grain-filling period) and 195 mm in Koruklu in 2006/07. A randomized complete block design with 4 replications was used.
Treatments were as follows: T1: Conventional Planting (CP) with recommended seed and fertilizer rate and herbicide use; T2: Bed-planting and furrow irrigation with inputs as in CP (BP-FI); T3: BP-FI with 10% reduction for inputs; T4: BP-FI with 20% reduction for inputs; T5: BP -FI with 30% reduction for inputs; T6: BP-FI with 40% reduction for inputs.
Conventional planting can be characterized as follows; after cotton harvest all stalks are chopped by special equipment (rotating chain mounted to track) then ploughed. After second tillage by disk harrow or cultivator, field is ready for planting.(response to Q1 of first reviewer via web page) The recommended seed rate was; 500 grains m-2 ( 270 kg ha-1 for durum wheat variety of Firat-93, fertilizer rate was 140 kg ha-1 N, 50% at sowing and 50% at shooting stage, 80 kg ha-1 of P applied at sowing, 2 L ha-1 herbicide for narrow-leaf weeds (grasses) such as wild oats (A. fatua) (active ingredient; Fenoxyprop-p-ethyl), 60 mL ha-1 herbicide for broad-leaf weeds (active ingredient; 100 g L-1 pyrimidine + 2-sulfonamide and 75 g L-1 florasulam).
Irrigation was applied twice at the grain- filling stage; giving 150 mm m-2
at each application for all treatments. The drilled plot size was 10 mx6 rows
(1.2 m) for CP and 10 mx2 beds (1.40 m) for BP-FI plots. Isolation plots were
also placed among treatments to avoid any bias scoring, caused by water joining
of neighboring plots with different N fertilizer ratios. A plot combine harvester
(Hege-140) was used for harvest. After dockage-cleaning to separate chaff and
other light material by air flow and sieving, grain yields were calculated and
samples from each replication were scored for hectoliter and 1000 kernel weights,
vitreous kernels and protein content % (Williams et al.,
1986). Individual year and combined (all factors for the three years) analyses
of variance were performed employing TARIST (AcikgOz et
Grain samples from each treatment from each year were presented to the four
randomly selected grain purchasers in the local commodity market for price estimations.
Individual (year-based) and combined analyses of variances of market price data
were also performed using TARIST (AcikgOz et al.,
1994). An economical analysis was further performed to identity the best
profitable treatment, where net income ($US ha-1) = [grain yield
(kg ha-1) x market prices ($US ton-1) - (total varying
costs of inputs under study)].
Results for Akcakale 2004-2005 cropping season: Due to the malfunction
of deep well pump, first irrigation was missed and this resulted in low average
grain yield. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for grain yield indicated that treatments
were non significant (Table 1, p<0.05). However, treatments
for 1000-kernel weight were significant (p<0.05), indicating that the various
bed-furrow treatments were higher than CP (CV 2.6%).
||Means and LSD range test on of some characteristics of treatments
based on individual analysis of variance for three growing seasons in Sanliurfa,
|1Conventional flood irrigation; 2Bed
Planting and furrow irrigation+full inputs; 3,4,5,6Bed planting
and furrow irrigation with 10, 20, 30 and 40% reduction in inputs, respectively
Treatments for hectoliter weights and protein content (%) were non significant
(CV, less than 1%).
Results for Akcakale 2005-2006 cropping season: In contrast to the previous
year: Rain distribution was quite satisfying and relatively adequate. No problem
rose for irrigation as well. Analysis of variance for grain yield were significant
(p<0.05), with the CP yielding highest (6200 kg ha-1) and significantly
outranking the original and reduced-input bed and furrow treatments.
||Means and LSD range test on of some characteristics of treatments
and years based on combined analysis of variance over three growing years
in Sanliurfa, southeastern Turkey
|1Conventional flood irrigation; 2Bed
Planting and furrow irrigation + full inputs; 3,4,5,6Bed planting
and furrow irrigation with 10, 20, 30 and 40% reduction in inputs, respectively
||Comparisons of grain yields for different treatments (1: Conventional
flood irrigation; 2: Bed Planting and furrow irrigation+inputs; 3, 4, 5,
6: Bed planting and furrow irrigation with 10, 20, 30 and 40% reduction
in inputs, respectively)
All other parameters were non-significant in terms of treatment effects.
Results for Koruklu 2006-2007 cropping season: This season was quite unusual. After sowing, there was no rain following 40 days. Permanent electricity cut off at deep well pump blocked us to irrigate experiment for early germination. Late germination and a-three-day hot winds at grain filling period resulted in relatively low grain yield. However, as in the second year at Akcakale, ANOVA for grain yield indicated that treatments were significant (p<0.01), again with the conventional practice out yielding the alternative bed and furrow treatments. Various treatments had no significant effect on the other independent variables. Given that variation in seasonal rainfall and related environmental conditions have a significant influence on crop yields despite the input of irrigation, there was a marked effect of season on yields (Fig. 1) but the treatment differences followed the same pattern.
Combine analysis of variance: Combined ANOVA for grain yield indicated that treatments, years and treatments x year interactions were significant. The analysis showed that the conventional (CP) treatment yielded highest, but that the reduced input bed and furrow treatment (BP-FI-20) ranked only marginally less than the conventional system. Average yields for 2005/06, 2006/207 and 2004/05 were 5258.3, 4500 and 3500 kg ha-1, respectively. The analysis showed no significant effects for the other parameters but the year effect was significant. Despite non significance of some parameters, all characteristics under study were grouped by LSD test and results are given Table 2.
Year-based and combined ANOVAs for marketing prices: Analysis of variance for marketing price estimates for the first year of experiment indicated that both purchasers and treatments were significant. Grain samples, obtained from the bed and furrow treatments such as T5 (BP-FI-30), T6(BP-FI-40) and T3(BP-FI-20), received higher marketing price offers. In the second and third year of the experiment, the ANOVA for marketing price estimates showed that only purchasers were significant (p<0.01). However, the combined ANOVA for marketing price estimates for all three experimental years indicated non significance. Despite non significance, the reduced-input treatments (T5, T6 and T3) ranked highest in economic terms (Table 2).
Correlation analysis: Coefficients of correlation among grain yields,
1000 kernel weights, protein content and market prices (Table
3) were non significant, but the negative correlation between grain yields
versus market prices was highly significant.
||Coefficients of correlation between some of the quality characteristics
vs. grain yields and market prices
|**p<0.01, NS: Not significant
|| Net incomes of treatments calculated by subtracting varying
costs from total income ha-1
|1: Conventional flood irrigation; 2: Bed Planting and furrow
irrigation+inputs; 3, 4, 5, 6: Bed planting and furrow irrigation with 10,
20, 30 and 40% reduction in inputs, respectively
Market price offers increased for grains with plumpness due to the low seed
rates in BP treatments. However, market price offers also did not correlate
significantly with protein content, 1000 kernel weights or hectoliter weights.
Economical analysis: Net income (Table 4) for Conventional Planting with Flood Irrigation (CP-FI) was the highest at $US1408 ha-1, while the bed and furrow reduced systems ranked second (BP-FI-20) at $US1352 and (BP-FI-40) ranked third rank at $US1293 ha-1. Conventional planting-flood irrigation yielded a net income increase of $US56 ton-1 over the most profitable of the nearest bed planting-furrow irrigation treatment. Although they received higher marketing price offers, net incomes of bed planting treatments were reduced gradually due to the lower grain yields. Comparison of net returns for CP-FI vs BP-FI-40 was performed by partial budget analysis. Only chancing inputs were considered and the others were constant. It means that the cost 40% input saving treatment has already been taken into account for net income calculation.
Notwithstanding the potential benefits of the relatively new bed planting and
furrow irrigation system (Akhtar, 2006; Limon-Ortega
et al., 2000; Fahong et al., 2004)
this series of field trials showed that at least under conditions prevailing
in southeastern Turkey, the conventional planting with flood irrigation with
some recommended inputs (seed, fertilizer and chemical herbicide) was still
the most acceptable in terms of yields and economic profitability. The hypothesis
that the reduced bed system, along with conventional inputs, would be better
than the traditional system was not borne out as shown elsewhere (Freeman
et al., 2007). Consequently, recommendation packages that involved
sequentially reduced inputs were not demonstrated in this study. Indeed, there
were indications that decreasing inputs in bed planting and furrow irrigation
could result in lower yields.
There was little in the study to suggest that any quality parameters were factors
in the assessment of the practices; grain yields and market price offers are
the only considerations. Increasing amounts of input saving reduced grain yield
and increased the grain plumpness and subsequently market price offers. In the
Sanliurfa local commodity market, purchasers do not offer high market price
for high quality grain (Ozberk et al., 2006).
There was only a $ US 2 ton-1 marketing price differences between
the highest and lowest quality grain in this study. But this may not be true
for some other countries such as Canada and USA. Durum wheat must fulfill certain
quality requirement of protein content, sedimentation value, yellow berry percentage
carotene content, test weight etc (Traccoli et al.,
2000; Sardana, 2000). Although, there are many other
quality requirements for durum wheats in the international marketing, some physical
characteristics such as high test weights influence buyer decision strongly
rather than protein content and amylase activity in USA (Lee
et al., 2000). Findings of this study indicated that grain yield
is the major factor affecting high net return. The results obtained from this
study for grain yield were similar to that of present study (Kabakci,
1999). Except for the yield advantages of bed planting and furrow irrigation
in wheat-cotton crop rotation study in Diyarbakir there is not any study carried
out recording bed planting and furrow irrigation out yields the conventional
planting and flood irrigation in wheat production in Turkey. Research findings
of this study overlapped those of previous studies in terms of grain yielding.
But Ozberk et al. (2005b) claimed that net return
per se must be taken into account for treatment (variety) preference. None of
the earlier study carried out in Turkey considered the market prices of experimental
crop. Several of them took into account for input prices only. In dealing mainly
with yield and to a lesser extent grain quality, our study was less comprehensive
than those of Aquino (1998) who considered irrigation
water savings and some operational costs in the bed and furrow system.
The outcome of this study raises the question as to why there should be discrepancies
between the traditional approach and innovative ones such as bed and furrow
irrigation. Clearly, in retrospect, inputs cannot be logically reduced by a
given fraction uniformly. For example, reducing pesticide levels below the effective
threshold would render the reduction meaningless. Similarly, while reductions
in fertilizer use can be made in a step-wise fashion, these have to be related
to the soil levels of available nutrients and their impact on crop growth; in
addition, as each nutrient, i.e., nitrogen and phosphorus, has a different effect
on growth, reductions of each have a differential effects. In such cases, the
experiment should have been conducted with variable rates of one factor and
others held constant. As water use and its efficiency is fundamental to assessment
of the bed and furrow system (Fahong et al., 2004),
this aspect was ignored in this comparison. Although, being aware of the importance
of irrigation water saving, the amount of irrigation water was not taken as
a factor in this experiment. It costs quite cheap for farmers in the region.
They only pay for 134.6 $US ha-1 in one wheat growing season. They
could irrigate their fields more than 5 times giving 100 mm in each in a growing
Under the conditions of the present field trials in southeastern Turkey, there was little indication that the bed and furrow system could replace the traditional flood irrigation system unless high quality grains are given high premium. Grain yields are the only basis for comparing the two systems since neither is likely to influence grain quality parameters. In terms of grain yield farmers are not keen to adopt new system as the way we suggest. But they tend to employ this system to enlarge the planting area by planting both beds and furrows so that they can extend the acreage of field by 10%.
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