Drought Mitigating Measures

Efforts to mitigate drought in Poland began in the beginning of 20th century in the central part of Poland (Wielkopolska and Kujawy regions),

Figure 13.6 Changes of crop growth conditions in 2001 as compared to normal year expressed by NDVI ratios.
Figure 13.7 Distribution of sensible heat to latent heat index illustrating soil moisture conditions for western Poland (Wielkopolska region). A darker tone indicates higher soil moisture condition.

which is characterized by the lowest rainfall and the highest potential evapotranspiration in the country. Measures for drought mitigation can be grouped into direct and indirect methods. Direct methods are applied while drought is in effect and include various forms of irrigation (e.g., sprinkler, microirrigation) suitable for soils with 25-35 cm of humus layer. These methods are used for vegetable and potato crops and apple orchards. However, subsoil irrigation is usually applied in the case of grasslands that grow mainly in river valleys on organic and peat soils.

Indirect methods are preventive measures such as (1) the use of drought-resistant varieties of crops; (2) rotation of crops with less number of crop species in annual rotation (only one main crop instead of three crops per year); (3) preference for planting cereals on farms susceptible to drought; (4) application of cultivation methods and fertilizers so as to accelerate crop development and maturity in order to shift the critical phase of plant development to the period endowed with higher availability of soil moisture; (5) harrowing and shallow plowing after harvest to minimize moisture loss; (6) deep tillage before winter to increase soil roughness; (7) raising hedgerows and tree stripes at field boundaries to help preserve winter snowfalls and limit evapotranspiration; and (8) using sluice gates to prevent or reduce water outflow from fields.

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