The Heihe River is the second largest river in arid areas of China, and the irrigation water of oasis agriculture in its middle reaches accounts for almost 80% of the water resources in the whole watershed. Corn is the most important crop in the middle reaches of the Heihe River, and its water consumption is about 50% of the total agriculture water consumption of the middle reaches. Therefore, in order to effectively use the water resources in the watershed, it is crucial to improve the efficiency of corn irrigation. In this paper, using the Ganzhou District in the middle reaches of the Heihe River as the study region, we carried out a field survey to obtain characteristics of seed and field corn. Based on our results, we conducted parameter calibration using the CROPWAT model and calculated the irrigation water requirements (IWR) of these two corn types. The irrigation water requirements of seed and field corn in the growing seasons were 470.1 and 488.5 mm, respectively. However, we observed big differences in the water consumption sequences of these two corn types. Prior to mid-July, evapotranspiration and IWR of seed corn were 14.3% and 20.1% higher, respectively, than those of field corn. In September, IWR of the two corn types started to decrease, with a value of 82.3 mm for seed corn, which was 32.1% lower than the IWR of field corn (108.7 mm) during the same period. However, there were no significant differences in the irrigation time and single irrigation amount for seed and field corn in the study area. Since corn is widely cultivated in the Zhangye Region, there is a considerable water-saving potential in agriculture if the irrigation water consumption can be adjusted according to the IWR of the two corn types.
Tan, M., & Zheng, L. (2017). Different irrigationwater requirements of seed corn and field corn in the Heihe River basin. Water (Switzerland), 9(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/w9080606