Effect of gypsum on furrow erosion and intake rate. Fosfoyeso en control de erosión en los surcos.

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Ramírez, H.; Rodríguez, O.; and Shainberg, I. 1999. Effect of gypsum on furrow erosion and intake rate. Soil Science 164 (5): 351-357. 

Furrow erosion and low water intake rate are serious problems in the silty clay soils of the Quibor valley in Venezuela. The problem may be aggravated additionally in the future with the import of low-electrolyte water (EC = 0.3 dS m-1) to the valley. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of electrolyte concentration in irrigation water during furrow irrigation on furrow erosion, on the properties of depositional crust formed in the furrow as the water infiltrates, and on the intake rate. The experiment took place in 36 m2 plots in the field,. Electrolyte concentration was controlled by spreading phosphogypsum at the rates of 0, 2, 4, and 6 Mg ha-1 on the soil. Gypsum increased the electrolyte concentration of the irrigation water and had an insignificant effect on sediment concentration in the furrows and on the mechanical strength of the crust, but it increased the rate of water infiltration into the furrows and onion yields. Flocculation of the sediments and the formation of a depositional crust made of flocculated clays are responsible for the higher intake rate of irrigation water in the gypsum-treated plots' furrows. Improved infiltration and drainage rate increased onion yields.