Description of practice

Supplemental irrigation is the addition of small amounts of water to rainfed crops during times when rainfall is insufficient for normal plant growth in order to improve and stabilize yields.

Examples of how to use supplemental irrigation Further information
(see Note below)

AMP59 01

Cisterns and water tanks

Cisterns and water tanks are used to store rainfall and runoff water for multiple purposes such as drinking water for human and animal consumption and supplemental irrigation.


»WOCAT technology 1413

AMP59 02

Plastic-lined pond

A plastic-lined pond is created to store water for irrigating crops in periods of low rainfall when plant growth would be otherwise limited.


»WOCAT technology 1462

AMP59 03

Deficit irrigation

A moderate plant water deficit is maintained to improve the quality of some crops such as grapes. While irrigation scheduling is often used to maintain soil water content near field capacity, deficit irrigation requires accurate soil moisture or plant 'stress' sensing, the ability to estimate crop water demand, and the ability to irrigate frequently.


»University of California -  crop irrigation strategies

AMP59 04

Off-season irrigation

Supplemental water is applied to fields and pastures during the off-season pre-seeding period when irrigation water is available and not being used by other farmers. Water accumulates at depths of 1.5-2 m in the soil and is available for pasture and crop growth in spring and early summer.


»WOCAT technology 1121

Note: Most of the Further information links are to a full description of the example in the WOCAT database. However sometimes the link may be to similar practices or a research paper. Occasionally the link is to a commercial product in which case it should be understood that this does not imply any endorsement of the product by iSQAPER.

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