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Comparative cost and effectiveness of polyacrylamide and straw mulch on sediment loss from furrow irrigated potatoes

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  • Polyacrylamide and straw mulch were used to reduce soil erosion on furrow irrigated potatoes. The PAM rate started out at 1 lb/ac per irrigation, then in the second irrigation of the wheel rows the rate was reduced to 0.2 lb/ac. The rate was increased to 0.5 lb/ac for all subsequent irrigations. Wheat straw was applied at 930 lb/ac. Over 16 irrigations, the untreated furrows lost a total of 47.6 tons/ac of soil washed out as sediment. The straw mulched furrows lost a total of 9.5 tons/ac. The PAM treated furrows lost a total of 18.0 tons/ac. Straw mulching decreased the amount of sediment loss by 80 percent, while PAM decreased the amount of sediment loss by 62 percent. Techniques are discussed to improve the effectiveness of both methods of erosion reduction. During 16 irrigations straw mulching increased water infiltration from 33.7 to 54.9 percent of applied water, while PAM increased the infiltration to 36.8 percent.
  • 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.
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