Wheat Irrigation in Zimbabwe

Critical Timing of Irrigations

There are two growth stages during which irrigation promotes the greatest increase in yields. The first is the fall vegetative stage when single irrigation should fill the soil profile to a depth of 4 to 6 feet on flood or furrow irrigated fields. With sprinkler irrigation, filling the profile becomes more difficult, because the amount of water necessary cannot be applied in a single application. Adjust the center pivot to turn very slowly and apply as much water as possible in a single pass, without causing runoff and erosion. A fall application of 4 inches on sandy soil or 8 inches on clay loam soil should be adequate to fill the soil profile about 4 feet deep. This level of irrigation provides adequate stored moisture for overwintering. After growth resumes in the spring, base irrigation amounts on the amount of water used over the winter. If the soil profile is filled to a depth of 6 feet in the fall, additional water probably will not be necessary until the boot stage. Earlier irrigation will produce excessive vegetative growth and may cause
lodging. Irrigations during early vegetative growth are only necessary if there has been a warm, dry winter or in the case of very coarse sandy soils. 

Basic Principles of Wheat Irrigation

The normal growth of wheat plants requires sufficient soil moisture at all stages of growth. Irrigation is required to fully harvest wheat, as winter rainfall is very low or no in sub-Saharan Africa. Irrigation is important and therefore absorbs up to 50 percent of the cost per hectare structure. Therefore, it is advisable to use irrigation sparingly. Advise farmers, not to wastewater. This leads to crop loss and affects baseline indicators (income per hectare) and revenue (margin). Similarly, do not overapply. The cost structure swells and affects profits. In the worst case, over-watering can contribute to the disease and ultimately affect yields.

Key points to consider for wheat irrigation

At the time of planting for germination, the soil should be brought to field capacity to a depth for its full potential;

To destroy the crust and ensure good shoots, light watering should be given 4-5 days after sowing, light water should be taken out after 14-17 days of germination to allow crown root and mustard to grow;

After that, irrigation should be done as per the water consumption of the plants.

On sandy soil with low water holding capacity, water often (7 to 9 days with cleaning cycle 30–35 mm).

On clay and sandy areas with good water holding capacity, irrigation can be done less frequently with larger volumes (10–14 day cycles with a grid of 40–45 mm).

This is a general guide to water planning. For an informed irrigation scheme, using a soil auger to estimate soil moisture content at the front and back of the irrigation line is a good aid in irrigation management. Irrigation is stopped when the neck of the ear/ear/head (peduncle) turns yellow, that is, at physical maturity.

Crop hardening: After the emergence of the crop, the hardening stage starts. This causes the growth of the root of the crown as well as mustard.

The recommended hardening period (at this stage, irrigation is temporarily halted) is 10 and 14 days for light and heavy soils, respectively.

Fertilizers and herbicides are applied after a hardening period followed by light watering, usually around 21 days after germination.

In general, center pivot irrigation is the easiest way to irrigate crops. To increase efficiency, there are certain factors to consider when using a center pivot. Farmers have proven to be able to use more efficient water in fixed center pivots than in towable pivots. This is mainly due to the fact that there is a loss of downtime due to center-to-center traction. When using a fixed central pivot, it is recommended to spray 10mm to 12mm. However, if it is a towable center pivot and the farmer creates two circles with one pivot, then a larger spray pack is best suited for the pivot and will be 14mm to 20mm depending on the specific needs. there is. For towable center pivots, a larger spray pack is recommended to reduce the rotation time of the center pivot to avoid moisture stress in other circles.

For the easy application of water, the farmer is advised to drive his axle in WET mode. The weight mode allows the operator to program to implement a certain amount of MM required at a particular stage of core development. In cases when the spindle is operated in dry mode, the operator has to calculate the percentage on the timer that corresponds to the need to apply more in the form of water (mm) and in most cases sometimes errors of calculation. -Sometimes are normal and spray volume will not have to be attained. For the farmer. It is then advised that farmers should ask their center axle service provider to ask the machine to operate in wet mode.

Wheat Wheat Straw
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