Comparison of sprinkler and surface irrigation methods for sugarcane production in Kenana Sugar Company, Sudan

Ali M. Adeeb1, Dafalla M. Abdelwahab


The study was conducted for two successive seasons (2001/02 and 2002/03) at Kenana Sugar Company (KSC) farm. The study aims at evaluating and comparing the water balance and agronomic outputs of sugarcane production under sprinkler and surface irrigation systems. The results showed that during the sugarcane peak water requirement, the sprinkler system was unable to compensate for the required irrigation water even though the operating hours were close to seven hours and the irrigation interval was kept at eight days. During the rainy season, when the irrigation water was influenced by effective rainfall, the crop showed signs of water stress which required continuing irrigation by the sprinkle-er. The seasonal number of sprinkler irrigations was 44 compared to 23 surface irrigations for the control. However, using sprinkler irrigation saved about 50% of irrigation water compared to surface irrigation. Accordingly, the irrigation production efficiency of the sprinkler system was about 40% higher than that of surface irrigation. The amount of water required to produce one kg of cane under surface irrigation was about 35% greater than that by sprinkler irrigation. From the agronomical point of view, the study showed that surface irrigation produced significantly (P≤0.05) taller plants and higher yield than the sprinkler system. The study found that there was no significant effect of the irrigation method on stalk diameter, pol (%) cane, purity (%) cane and estimated recoverable sugar (%).

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