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

Article


McPhee, John, Eberhard, Jochen, Melland, Alice, Uddin, Jasim, Dunn, Lucinda, Hin, Sarith, Lim, Vanndy, Touch, Veasna, Sisouvanh, Phimmasone, Somphou, Inthong, Vilayphone, Tounglien, Mounsena, Phaythoune and Ives, Stephen. 2022. "Simple ETo-Based Rules for Irrigation Scheduling by Smallholder Vegetable Farmers in Laos and Cambodia." Water: an open access journal. 14 (13). https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132010
Article Title

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

ERA Journal ID123718
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMcPhee, John, Eberhard, Jochen, Melland, Alice, Uddin, Jasim, Dunn, Lucinda, Hin, Sarith, Lim, Vanndy, Touch, Veasna, Sisouvanh, Phimmasone, Somphou, Inthong, Vilayphone, Tounglien, Mounsena, Phaythoune and Ives, Stephen
Journal TitleWater: an open access journal
Journal Citation14 (13)
Article Number2010
Number of Pages17
Year2022
PublisherMDPI AG
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
ISSN2073-4441
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132010
Web Address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/14/13/2010
Abstract

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.

Keywordswater productivity; irrigation; leafy vegetables; evapotranspiration; nomograph
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020300899. Horticultural production not elsewhere classified
300210. Sustainable agricultural development
410406. Natural resource management
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Tasmania
Centre for Agricultural Engineering
Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales
University of Sydney
Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Cambodia
National University of Laos, Laos
National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute, Laos
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