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:
During this reporting period several research activities were carried out and scientific exchanges were achieved. The IMIS project coordinator from NCARE, Jordan visited the U.S from October 15 to November 6, 2011. The objectives were: to exchange scientific information and learn about the advances in crop water use and water use efficiency, advanced drip and automated center pivot irrigation systems, and new plant and soil water status sensors that enable better irrigation management; and to also establish and initiate preparation for a new international research project between USDA-ARS, NCARE, and Israeli and the Palestinian Authority researchers. While in the USA, the Jordanian scientist attends the Annual International Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America and worked with his ARS colleague to analyze data collected from the Lysimeter placed at Dair Alla in the Jordan Valley. This effort is conducted under an ongoing regional project (www.merimis.org). During the visit, the scientists evaluated the status of ten automatic weather stations, an Eddy Correlation Device, and a large weighing lysimeter operated in Jordan under MERIMIS. A report was provided that outlined recommendation for the future work, maintenance, data processing and continuation of the IMIS project. The NCARE project coordinator and three other participants from NCARE attended the IMIS Regional Workshop which was held in Jerusalem on September 7, 2012. The NCARE team presented NCARE’s IMIS progress report. The NCARE team and the USDA-ARS participants traveled to Iksal, a town near Nazareth, Israel for an IMIS project field day to see drip irrigated almond and olive orchards and other fruits. The orchards are managed experimentally by one of the IMIS project partners who monitor irrigation rates, microclimate data, yield and quality in order to determine the best varieties, their irrigation and fertilization needs, and the yields and quality that can be expected as these inputs are varied.