EESC Publication

Surge irrigation of Bliss spring wheat, 1991

Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF


Attribute NameValues
  • Surge irrigation of furrow-irrigated spring wheat was investigated at the Malheur Experiment Station in 1991. The project studied the feasibility of implementing surge as an irrigation management method for increasing irrigation efficiency and reducing deep percolation of irrigation water from furrow-irrigated fields in Malheur County. Surge irrigation is a process where water is applied to an irrigation furrow intermittently, whereas in continuous-flow (or conventional) irrigation, water is applied to the furrow during the entire irrigation set (Yonts et al., 1991). With surge irrigation, water is cycled from one half of the field to the other half during an irrigation set, using a switch valve. Surge irrigation has been studied in the Grand Valley of Colorado as a method to reduce salt loading of the Colorado River (Bartholomay, 1991). The results indicated that deep percolation was reduced by about 50 percent with surge and that 790 tons of salt were prevented from entering the river with the return flow. A surge irrigation study conducted in Carbon County, Montana showed that irrigation efficiency increased by about 15 percent (USDA SCS). "Fertigation" (the practices of adding liquid fertilizer in the irrigation water) with surge has also been shown to be effective at increasing fertilizer application efficiency and reducing deep percolation losses (Champion and Bartholomay, 1991). Groundwater quality is an important environmental issue in areas where irrigated agriculture is practiced. Excessive runoff and deep percolation can cause high levels of dissolved salts and fertilizer residues to enter the groundwater. Groundwater contamination can be acute where inefficient irrigation and fertilizer management methods are practiced together. Irrigation management alternatives are needed for groundwater protection. Growers are also concerned with how to stretch limited supplies of water to adequately meet crop irrigation needs.
  • The information in these reports is for the purpose of informing cooperators in industry, colleagues at other universities, and others of the results of research in field crops. Reference to products and companies in these publications is for the specific information only and does not endorse or recommend that product or company to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. Nor should any information and interpretation thereof be considered as recommendations for the application of any pesticide. Pesticide labels should always be consulted before any pesticide use.
Resource Type
Date Issued
Non-Academic Affiliation
Rights Statement
File Format



This work has no parents.

In Collection: