Deficit Irrigation Management Practice for Major Crops in Kunigal Command Area [ ]

The increase in water demand has resulted in new methods of saving water worldwide with about 70% of water being used in agriculture globally, water saving techniques has to be practiced. Irrigation technologies and irrigation scheduling may be adopted for more effective and rational uses of limited supplies of water. Deficit irrigation is one of the methods designed to ensure the optimal use of allocated water. It maximizes water use efficiency for better yields per unit of irrigation water applied through by exposing the crops to a certain level of water stress either during a particular period or throughout the growing season. A study is carried out to review the crop yield responses to deficit irrigation in Kunigal command areas. The major crops taken for study include rice, pulses, groundnut, sugarcane and millet (ragi). Simulation are carried out using agro-climatic data development of irrigation schedules under deficit irrigation and evaluation of current irrigation practices were done by crop growth simulation software CROPWAT 8.0 developed by FAO. From the simulation, it is evident that deficit irrigation incurs yield reductions in proportional to water stress magnitudes but saves substantial amount of water. The recommended deficit irrigation practice is to water stress the crop during mid stage of crop cycle thus saving more water & incurring acceptable yield reductions to the farmers.