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Location: Office of International Research Programs

2010 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 Cooperators shall: 1. As appropriate, conduct research under the Irrigation Management Information System (IMIS) project, which is part of a cooperative research project bringing together participants from Israel, Jordan, Palestine, and the United States to Improve water management by providing data for scheduling irrigation and other crop management decisions to increase irrigation efficiency in the Middle East and The United States. 2. Establish an IMIS research and extension sites to represent the important agricultural production systems in Jordan. Evapotranspiration (ET) models for several conventional and specialized crops will be evaluated for the designated sites and prioritized according to applicability criteria. Soil and plant water-status measurement instrumentation will be evaluated, adapted and integrated into the system according to the same applicability criteria. 3. Conduct collaborative regional research on measurement of crop water use and calculation of crop coefficients for key crops, such as cucumbers, peppers, and specialty crops. 4. Establish interaction with local universities, farmers, farm advisors, and extension personnel in order to implement the IMIS system to ensure wide acceptance and sustainability. 5. Establish the methodological framework to transfer the crop water requirements information received from the metrological stations to the farmers. 6. Assist in providing training to the Jordanian farmers in conservation technology such as cover crops and composting methods.

3. Progress Report
This report serves to document research conducted under a specific cooperative agreement between ARS and Jordan’s Ministry of Agriculture-National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE), Jordan. The ADODR followed up on progress by meeting with counterparts during trips to the region and via email and telephone. An experiment based on meteorological station measurements to determine irrigation indicator for Tomato crop was conducted in Dair-Alla Regional. For the second season the tomato was planted on December 10th 2009 and harvested on May 30th 2010. Irrigation treatments were made based on 50%, 70%, 100%, and 130% of the Dair-Alla Meteorological station evapotranspiration reading. Simple calculations of the results show that the farmer usually adds more than 60% of the crop water requirements to achieve only 17% of the higher yield. While the 17% could be justified by the farmers based on higher yields, the national policy is to reduce water use by 60%, and such a reduction does result in higher water use efficiency to the farmer. Overall progress in this project continues to be: increased scientific cooperation among U.S., Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian scientists; establishment of an agricultural meteorological station network with direct benefit to growers in that it provides needed information which impacts the use of supplemental irrigation; improved knowledge of crop water use for several economically valuable crops in the region; and continued plans for future collaboration on the pressing water issues of the region.

4. Accomplishments