WATER SAVING AND CROP YIELD UNDER PITCHER AND WICK IRRIGATION METHODS
Khairpur College of Agriculture Engineering and Technology, Khairpur Mir’s, Pakistan
High-Tech efficient irrigation methods like drip and sprinkler methods require high installation cost and cannot be operated and maintained without skilled labor. Hence, there is dire need for simple, small scale, efficient, low cost and locally made irrigation methods, which can convert deserts of Pakistan into oases. The present study was thus conducted at the experimental site of Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam to assess the performance of pitcher and wick irrigation methods for water saving and crop yield. Total eighteen clay pitchers with water holding capacity of about 10 liters were used in the study. Six pitchers were drilled at the bottom and wicks in the holes were fixed (W1), six pitchers were drilled around the middle of pitcher (W2) while the remaining was used without drilling and wicks (P1). They were buried randomly at a distance of 2 m in 3 rows with neck of pitchers above the ground level and then they were filled with water. The turnip seed was sown on the soil wetted around the pitchers. The experimental results revealed that the water savings were about 65.56%, 29.84% and 46.55% with P1, W1 and W2 treatments, respectively compared to conventional flood irrigation method. The crop water productivity (CWP) was about 16.9 kg m3 and 24.32 kg m3 with W1 and W2, respectively while CWP of treatment P1 was 29.2 kg m3. It is concluded that wick irrigation method performs better in terms of crop yield and crop water productivity, but it consumes more water compared to pitcher irrigation method. The farmers are suggested to adapt wick irrigation only during warm season when pitchers are incapable of meeting crop water requirements due to high evapotranspiration rates.