This work aims at evaluating the performance of deficit irrigation (DI) and raised bed techniques (RB) of
maize (Zea mays L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) as compared to farmers’ practice (FT) and full
irrigation (FWR) in the Nile Delta of Egypt in 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 seasons. In maize, results showed
that the application of FWR as compared to the FT reduced water application by 640 and 460 m3
yields decreases of 7 and 8% in the first and second seasons, respectively. DI and RB resulted in
savings of 1600 m3 water/ha in maize and 1500 m3 water/ha in wheat. Water saving due to DI was
accompanied by a yield reduction of 8.8% in maize, but with no effect on wheat. RB had no significant
effect on yield in both crops. On average, WP values were 1.53, 1.66, 1.83, and 1.99 kg/m3
in maize and
1.30, 1.38, 1.86 and 1.88 kg/m3
in wheat for FT, FWR, DI and RB, respectively. From this study, we can
conclude that substantial amounts of water can be saved by applying DI with no significant reduction in
yields especially in wheat. However, RB remains more a promising technique for both crops.
Key words: Water saving, surface irrigation, on-farm trials, land productivity, tradeoff.