Impacts of Effects of Deficit Irrigation Strategy on Water Use Efficiency and Yield in Cotton under Different Irrigation Systems

Shukr, Hanan H. and Pembleton, Keith G. ORCID: and Zull, Andrew F. and Cockfield, Geoff J. (2021) Impacts of Effects of Deficit Irrigation Strategy on Water Use Efficiency and Yield in Cotton under Different Irrigation Systems. Agronomy, 11 (2). pp. 1-18.

Text (Published Version)
agronomy-11-00231-v2 (2).pdf
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (11MB) | Preview


Irrigated cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) growers in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) of Australia, are challenged by limited water availability. This modelling-study aimed to determine if deficit irrigation (DI) practices can potentially improve water use efficiency (WUE) for furrow irrigation (FI), overhead sprinkler irrigation (OSI) and subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) systems. We validated the Agricultural Production System sIMulator (APSIM) against observed cotton lint yield and crop biomass accumulation for different management practices. The model achieved concordance correlation coefficients of 0.93 and 0.82 against observed cotton crop biomass accumulation and lint yields, respectively. The model was then applied to evaluate the impacts of different levels of DI on lint yield, WUE across cotton growing locations in the MDB (Goondiwindi, Moree, Narrabri, and Warren), during the period from 1977 to 2017. The different levels of DI for the FI system were no irrigation, full irrigation (TF) and irrigated one out of four, one out of three, one out of two, two out of three and two out of four TF events. For the OSI and SDI systems, DI levels were no irrigation, TF, 20% of TF, 40% of TF, 60% of TF and 80% of TF. Lint yield was maximised under the OSI and SDI systems for most locations by applying 80% of TF. However; modelling identified that WUE was maximised at 60% of full irrigation for OSI and SDI systems. These results suggest there are significant gains in agronomic performance to be gained through the application of DI practices with these systems. For FI, DI had no benefit in terms of increasing yield, while DI showed marginal gains in terms of WUE in some situations. This result is due to the greater exposure to periodic water deficit stress that occurred when DI practices were applied by an FI system. The results suggest that in the northern MDB, water savings could be realised for cotton production under both OSI and SDI systems if DI were adopted to a limited extent, depending on location and irrigation system.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 44106
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Sciences (6 Sep 2019 - 31 Dec 2021)
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2021 01:49
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2021 23:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: Irrigation management; Model validation; Water productivity; Water saving
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070103 Agricultural Production Systems Simulation
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070302 Agronomy
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300205 Agricultural production systems simulation
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300403 Agronomy
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820301 Cotton
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 26 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 2606 Industrial crops > 260602 Cotton
Identification Number or DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only