AbstractsGeography &GIS

Soil-water use and irrigation scheduling under fruit tree-turf alley cropping system in Hawkesbury Area

by Abul Hasnat

Institution: University of Western Sydney
Degree: MS(Hons)
Year: 0
Keywords: fruit trees; alley cropping system; water usage; turf; irrigation; nutrients; runoff; nitrate leaching; soil-water dynamics; fertilizers
Record ID: 1035492
Full text PDF: http://handle.uws.edu.au:8081/1959.7/614


Efficient use of irrigation and nutrients are becoming increasingly important in commercial orchards in the Hawkesbury area. Proper irrigation scheduling practices can help in the better use of irrigation water and reduce environmental impacts. Field experiments were conducted during February 1999 to June 2000 to understand soil-water use, and to evaluate farmer’s irrigation practice under an alley cropping system consisting of turf and stone fruits. The study was carried out at Atlas Farm, 3.5 km from the University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury campus. The experimental site is a floodplain of the Hawkesbury River. The river flows within 1 km of the farm boundaries. The study was conducted under the farmer’s existing irrigation water and nutrient management practices. The main aims of the thesis were to study the movement and redistribution of soil-water and soil-moisture dynamics in the turf and stone fruit alley cropping system and to understand deep percolation losses and nitrogen leaching using the water balance approach. The study indicated that drainage occurred mainly after heavy rainfall and when there was rainfall for a few consecutive days. Thus irrigation application should be delayed if there is a likelihood of rain in a few consecutive days to prevent loss of water due to deep drainage. Furthermore, the study showed irrigation scheduling was essential to reduce nitrate leaching in the field; that irrigation depths should be varied according to the stage of crop growth, and the proper timing of irrigation application could help reduce deep percolation and runoff losses. Master of Science (Hons) (Agriculture)