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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (IMIS) PROGRAM FOR EFFICIENT WATER USE IN ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST
2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this cooperative research project is to develop technology and methodology for efficient use of water in agricultural systems suited to dry land climates by applying Irrigation Management Information System (IMIS) techniques.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Under this agreement, and in accordance with the budget agreed to by both Parties to this Agreement, the cooperator shall: 1. Establish IMIS research and demonstration sites that represent a significant local agricultural sector and practices in Jordan. The system will be based on local meteorological data and field measured information inputs. 2. Develop the physical infrastructure and information management tools for rapid dissemination of quality controlled and reliable irrigation scheduling data for the proposed project sites. 3. Cooperating scientists will gather data throughout the cropping season utilizing data from constructed weighing-lysimeter and weather station, and collaboratively apply quality control and processing to develop Crop coefficients (kc) values. 4. Establish scheduling criteria for the unique variety of field, orchard, and vegetable crops grown in the project area, using Evapotranspiration (ET) estimation models and incorporating agronomic considerations. 5.Establish interaction with farmers, farm advisors, and extension personnel via implementation of the system to ensure wide acceptance and sustainability. 6. Promote regional cooperative activities by developing and disseminating the pilot project as a model pending future funding availability in preparation for a project expansion that includes infrastructure.


3.Progress Report:

The IMIS project team from El-Hawakeer attended the IMIS Regional Workshop which was held in Jerusalem on September 7, 2012. At the workshop, project coordinator reported that five weather stations installed by El-Hawakeer and its predecessor (Ahali) have been taken out of service and weather data are now obtained from the Israeli Meteorology Organization, which is expanding its network and has stations nearby (www.meteo.co.il). The stations taken out of service were at Tamra, Sakhin, Iksal, Baqa El Barbiya and Kalansawa. This eliminates the labor and expense of maintaining the stations from El-Hawakee’s budget. The data are now transferred over the Internet every 10 minutes using GPRS modems, which is cheaper than the cellular modems used previously. The stations taken out of service by El-Hawakeer will be given to the IMIS partners in the West Bank, where there is little coverage and where the large variations in elevation require an increased density of stations in the network. In Israel, water costs about 65 cents per cubic meter, which is enough to motivate farmers to manage water use more efficiently. Almond farmers have adapted ET based irrigation scheduling. In the Iksal area, 30 of 130 farmers work 70% of the almond acreage and have adopted ET based irrigation scheduling. El-Hawakeer works with more than 100 farmer cooperatives who want to expand the use of this irrigation scheduling system. For example, El-Hawakeer conducts farmer training on ET based irrigation scheduling and irrigation management for apple orchards. The training is extremely valuable for these farmers because of the scarcity in water resources for irrigation.


Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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