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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Polymer Application in Irrigation Water to Reduce Erosion and Better Manage Water Infiltration

Authors
item Orts, William
item Sojka, Robert

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Water Science
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2003
Publication Date: December 1, 2003
Citation: Orts, W.J., Sojka, R.E. 2003. Polymer application in irrigation water to reduce erosion and better manage water infiltration. Encyclopedia of Water Science. B.A. Stewart and Terrt A, Howell, Editors. 449-453p.

Interpretive Summary: In the past decade, water-soluble polyacrylamide (PAM) was identified as an environmentally safe and highly effective erosion preventing and infiltration enhancing polymer when applied in furrow irrigation water at 1 to 10 g m-3, i.e.1 to 10 ppm. Various polymers and biopolymers have long been recognized as viable soil conditioners because they stabilize soil surface structure and pore continuity. The new strategy of adding the conditioner, high molecular weight anionic PAM, to irrigation water in the first several hours of irrigation implies a significant costs savings over traditional application methods, in which hundreds of kilos per hectare of soil additives are tilled into the entire (15 cm deep) soil surface layer. By adding PAM to the irrigation water, soil structure is improved in the all-important 1-5 mm thick layer at the soil/water interface of the 25 to 30% of field surface contacted by flowing water.

Technical Abstract: In the past decade, water-soluble polyacrylamide (PAM) was identified as an environmentally safe and highly effective erosion preventing and infiltration enhancing polymer when applied in furrow irrigation water at 1 to 10 g m-3, i.e.1 to 10 ppm. Various polymers and biopolymers have long been recognized as viable soil conditioners because they stabilize soil surface structure and pore continuity. The new strategy of adding the conditioner, high molecular weight anionic PAM, to irrigation water in the first several hours of irrigation implies a significant costs savings over traditional application methods, in which hundreds of kilos per hectare of soil additives are tilled into the entire (15 cm deep) soil surface layer. By adding PAM to the irrigation water, soil structure is improved in the all-important 1-5 mm thick layer at the soil/water interface of the 25 to 30% of field surface contacted by flowing water.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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