Investigating the effect of dificit irrigation and mulching on the yield of fodder corn (Zea mays) under tape drip irrigation in KhorramAbad region

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Faculty of Water and Environmental Sciences Engineering, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Professor Irrigation Dept., Faculty of Water Sciences Engineering, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz

3 Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Faculty of Agriculture, Lorestan University, Khoramabad, Iran


In order to investigate the effects of deficit irrigation and organic mulch on wet matter, dry matter, plant height, wet yield productivity, dry yield productivity and leaf area of corn forage (SC. 704) in Khorramabad region, an experiment based on the factorial experiment with a basic design of randomized complete blocks with three replications was conducted. The first factor of the experiment consisted of four levels of irrigation (100, 80, 60 and 40% of water requirements) and the second factor included three levels of organic mulch (no mulch (control), using 7.5 ton/hectare and 15 ton/hectare mulch). In this research, drip irrigation system (Tape) was applied and class A evaporation pan was used to determine the water requirement of the plant. The results showed that the mutual effects of deficit irrigation and organic mulch were significant at the 5% probability level. The maximum amount of wet matter (99.05 ton/ha), dry matter (31.15 ton/ha), plant height (2.38 m) and leaf area (7511cm2) were observed in the treatment of 100% water requirement and using mulch (15 ton/ha) which increased by 24.7%, 18.03%, 5.8% and 48.38% respectively compared to the control treatment. The maximum amount of water productivity for wet and dry matters were 14.56 and 4.57 kg/m3 which were obtained in the treatment of 80% water requirement and using mulch (15 ton/ha). The minimum amount of water productivity for wet and dry matters were 10.09 and 3.35 kg/m3 which were obtained in the treatment of 100% water requirement without using mulch.  Thus, in this region, irrigation based on 80% water requirement and using mulch (15 ton/ha) may cause improvement in corn forage yield.


Main Subjects

 Investigating the effect of deficit irrigation and organic mulching on the yield of maize (Zea mays) under tape drip irrigation in Khorramabad region




Iran is located in the dry belt of the earth and its average rainfall is about one third of the global average, so the limitation of water resources requires proper management and planning in water consumption. Based on this, the correct management of water consumption in corn production is one of the priorities of researchers in this field. Dficit irrigation as an optimal method to produce agricultural products in conditions of water shortage can increase the water use efficiency by eliminating low efficiency irrigations and reducing the volume of irrigation in each irrigation cycle. On the other hand, drip irrigation is considered a suitable and practical method for managing water consumption in agriculture and increasing the productivity of irrigation water in arid and semi-arid areas.

Materials and Methods

The current research was carried out under the climatic conditions of Khorramabad in Spring of 2022 with the geographic coordinates of the region 48 degrees 15 minutes east and 33 degrees 26 minutes north and an altitude of 1147 meters above the sea level. To investigate the performance and water productivity of fodder corn in the form of a factorial experiment in three repetitions with the application of deficit irrigation at four levels of 100%, 80%, 60% and 40% of the water requirement, also with mulch coverage at three levels of zero (control), 7.5 and 15 tons mulch per hectare was done under drip irrigation in Khorramabad. Class A evaporation pan was used to determine the water requirement of the corn. For each treatment and repetition, wet yield, dry yield, plant height, wet weight productivity, dry weight productivity and leaf area index were measured and data were collected.

Results and Discussion

In general, the results showed that the main and reciprocal effect of deficit irrigation and mulch was significant at the 5% probability level. After analyzing the data of the research, it was observed that the yield in the treatment of 100% water requirement and 15 tons mulch per hectare was the highest in terms of wet yield that was 99.05 tons per hectare and also in terms of biological yield that was 31.15 tons per hectare. In this case, the wet and dry weight yield increased by 24.7% and 18.03%, respectively, compared with the control treatment. Also, the plant height and leaf area were the highest in 100% water requirement with 15 tons mulch per ha treatment (2.38 meters and 7511 square centimeters respectively). But in terms of dry and wet water productivity, the highest amounts belonged to the treatment of 80% of water requirement and mulch of 15 tons per hectare )4.75 and 14.56 kg /m3).


By investigating the effect of deficit irrigation and mulching on the yield of fodder corn under strip drip irrigation in Khorramabad region, the results showed that the different irrigation and mulching treatments affect the yield (wet and dry), plant height, leaf area index and water productivity of the corn. The results also showed increasing mulch in the conditions of high drought stress does not increase the yield, but it has a significant positive effect in the conditions of no drought stress. It is possible to significantly increase the corn yield and water productivity by applying deficit irrigation and mulch to the level of 80% of the water requirement and 15 tons per hectare, respectively.

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