Interactive effects of mulching and deficit irrigation on yield, oil content and water use efficiency of Sesame in a semiarid environment

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Natural Resources, College of Agricultural Engineering Sciences, Sulaimani University, Iraq

2 Department of Soil and Water, College of Agricultural Engineering Sciences, Salahaddin University, Iraq



To increase food and nutritional demands of the growing population, a significant part of agricultural research should focus on improving water use efficiency. Few studies have involved the simultaneous use of mulch and deficit irrigation in the semiarid environment to conserve water without yield penalties. Accordingly, a field experiment was conducted over a silty clay soil at the outskirt of Sulaimani, Iraqi Kurdistan region during the summer season of 2021 to evaluate the impact of deficit irrigation levels [(100%, 80%, 60 and 40% of full irrigation (FI)] and straw mulch (with and without) on seed yield, quality traits of sesame, Sesamum indicum L. besides its water use efficiency. The results indicated that there was a steady decrease in sesame with a decrease in the amount of applied water with and without mulch. The water use efficiency increased by water deficit level from 100 to 60% of FI and declined at 40% of FI with and without mulch. Mulch offered a better performance compared to no mulch in terms of crop yield, water use efficiency and oil content. The crop response factor (ky) values were 0.849 and 0.785 with no- and with- mulch respectively. Based on these findings, it is recommended to apply deficit irrigation in combination with mulching practice   as an approach of water savaging for agriculture in regions with limited water resources. 


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