Impact of alternate furrow irrigation with different irrigation intervals on yield, water use efficiency, and economic return of corn
Alternate furrow irrigation with proper irrigation intervals could save irrigation water and result in high grain yield with low irrigation costs in arid areas. Two field experiments were conducted in the Middle Nile Delta area of Egypt during the 2010 and 2011 seasons to investigate the impact of alternate furrow irrigation with 7-d (AFI7) and 14-d intervals (AFI14) on yield, crop water use efficiency, irrigation water productivity, and economic return of corn (Zea mays L.) as compared with every-furrow irrigation (EFI, conventional method with 14-d interval). Results indicated that grain yield increased under the AFI7 treatment, whereas it tended to decrease under AFI14 as compared with EFI. Irrigation water saving in the AFI7 and AFI14 treatments was approximately 7% and 17%, respectively, as compared to the EFI treatment. The AFI14 and AFI7 treatments improved both crop water use efficiency and irrigation water productivity as compared with EFI. Results also indicated that the AFI7 treatment did not only increase grain yield, but also increased the benefit-cost ratio, net return, and irrigation water saving. Therefore, if low cost water is available and excess water delivery to the field does not require any additional expense, then the AFI7 treatment will essentially be the best choice under the study area conditions.