Submitted to: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Meetings Papers
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/1993
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Polyacrylamide, a long chain polymer, when applied in very low concentrations in irrigation water, drastically reduces furrow erosion. The treatment, through a reduction in sediment movement and depositional seal formation, also increases furrow infiltration.
Technical Abstract: Erosion from furrow irrigated land is a serious problem in southern Idaho and several other areas in the western U.S. Polyacrylamide, a very long chain polymer, increases soil aggregate stability and flocculates suspended sediments, and thus reduces furrow sediment detachment and transport. One-half kg/ha/irrigation of polyacrylamide applied with the irrigation water dramatically reduces furrow erosion. The reduced sediment movement and deposition reduces furrow surface seal formation and increases infiltration. In recirculating infiltrometer tests, infiltration was inversely related to sediment concentration in the flowing water. Farmers must adapt their irrigation management to the higher infiltration to maintain desired irrigation efficiencies.