Tillage and saline irrigation effects on water and salt distribution in a sloping field

Z. B. Huang, S. Assouline, J. Zilberman, M. Ben-Hur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Application of saline water using moving irrigation systems (MIS) emi affect the water and salt distribution in the field mid the crop yield because of runoff formation. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of tillage and water application methods on the distributions of water content, salt concentration in soil, and corn (Zea mays L.) yield under irrigation with saline water by MIS. The experimental site was located in a forage corn field in the Negev, Israel. Three tillage treatments were studied: (i) conventional tillage (control); (ii) microbasin; and (iii) diked furrows (dike). The control and the microbasin plots were irrigated with sprinkler MIS, and the dike plots with flooding MIS. The studied parameters were measured in five sampling sites located 25 m apart along the slope. The average dry canopy yields of the whole slope in the control, dike, and microbasin treatments were 21.7, 25.3, and 30.6 Mg ha-1, respectively, and their coefficient of variance (CV) values along the slope were 7.9, 5.7, and 3.5%, respectively. In the control treatment, soil water content increased from 0.12 kg kg-1 upslope to 0.19.0 kg kg-1 downslope. In contrast, no slope effect on soil water content was found in the microbasin and dike treatments. The electrical conductivity (EC) of the 0- to 0.3-m soil layer in the control treatment increased in the downslope direction from 2.0 to 4.0 dS m-1. Conversely, in the microbasin and dike treatments, no consistent trend of the EC was observed with slope, and their average values were 3.4 and 7.0 dS m-1, respectively. It was suggested that these yield differences were related to the differences in the distribution of the soil water content and the salt concentration in soil within the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2096-2102
Number of pages7
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science


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