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  • 1 Indian Agricultural Research Institute Division of Agronomy New Delhi 110 012 India
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In India wheat is conventionally planted on flat-bed and irrigation is applied by flooding, which results in low water-use efficiency. Efficient use of irrigation water is a major researchable issue in most command areas for improving crop productivity. Resource conservation technologies aimed at improving productivity and water-use efficiency such as raised-bed planting have been found useful in wide row crops like maize, cotton, sunflower, sugarcane, etc. However, such information is not available for a relatively narrow row crop like wheat. A field experiment was conducted during 2002–04 at New Delhi on a sandy loam soil to evaluate the performance of wheat crop under resource conservation techniques (RCTs), viz. furrow-irrigated raised-bed (FIRB), broad-bed and furrow (BBF), raised-bed and sunken-bed (RBSB) and conventional flat-bed (FB) in main plots, and 4 irrigation regimes, viz. irrigation only at crown root initiation (CRI); irrigation at 0.9 and 1.2 IW/CPE (irrigation water/cumulative pan evaporation) ratio and irrigations at six critical physiological growth stages in subplots. Wheat performed equally well under all the RCTs with respect to grain yield. The maximum grain yield was recorded under 1.2 IW/CPE ratio, which was at par with 6 irrigations at critical growth stages, but significantly higher than 0.9 IW/CPE and one irrigation at CRI. Bed planting techniques involving FIRB and BBF recorded significantly lower consumptive use (CU) of water than RBSB and FB. There was saving of 18.2 to 19.5% irrigation water by adopting FIRB compared to FB with flood irrigation. Water-use efficiency under FIRB and BBF was 8.3–22.8 and 4.9–24.8% higher respectively over the FB with flooding.

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Cereal Research Communications
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