Skip to main content

Infiltration and soil water distribution in irrigation furrows treated with polyacrylamide

Lentz, R.D. and Bautista, Eduardo and Koehn, A.C. and Sojka, R.E. (2020) Infiltration and soil water distribution in irrigation furrows treated with polyacrylamide. Transactions of the ASABE. 63(5):1451-1464. 23 October 2020.

[img] Text

Download (1MB)


Few if any studies have measured water-soluble anionic polyacrylamide’s (WSPAM) effects on infiltration and soil water distribution in different segments of irrigation furrows. We conducted a three year study on a silt loam soil with 1.5% slopes, planted to corn. Control furrows received no WSPAM and inflows were 15.1 L/min, whereas WSPAM was applied using 8 mg/L a.i. to 45 L/min inflows during furrow advance. After advance, treatments were identical, with inflows of 15.1 L/min. Soil profile water content and net infiltration in upper (inflow-end) and lower (outflow-end) furrow sectors were measured during the growing season. The results indicate mean whole-furrow, net infiltration was the same between treatments in each irrigation. The WSPAM increased lateral wetting from furrow to planted row by as much as 1.3-fold in the lower furrow sector. Mean field-wide soil water content was an average 1.2-fold greater in WSPAM furrows than for the control, but the effect was more significant in lower furrow sectors. This was consistent with infiltration data, which showed that WSPAM decreased the upper-to-lower-sector, net infiltration ratio 33% to 40% relative to control furrows, indicating improved irrigation uniformity. A 62% reduction in furrow advance time afforded by WSPAM accounts for some of the increased uniformity, but opposing changes in infiltration rate between upper and lower furrow sectors suggests that other factors are involved. The WSPAM management approach, while protecting against furrow erosion, provides a means of improving irrigation uniformity, and could potentially reduce associated percolation water and nutrient losses.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1685
Subjects: Irrigation > Irrigation control
Polyacrylamide (PAM) > Water-soluble PAM (WSPAM)
Polyacrylamide (PAM) > Water-soluble PAM (WSPAM) > Infiltration management
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2020 19:49
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2020 19:49
Item ID: 1721