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Farming of irrigated regions

The main areas of irrigated land are concentrated in Russia and the former Soviet Union, for example, in the south of Ukraine, the North Caucasus, the steppe part of the Trans-Volga region, Transcaucasia, Central Asia and in the south of Kazakhstan.

Natural and climatic conditions


The climate is continental, with dry and hot summers and mild and warm winters. Average annual precipitation ranges from 100 to 250 mm in the foothill plains and up to 400-500 mm in the mountainous areas. The duration of the vegetation period is from 170 to 240 days, the sum of active temperatures is 3400-5400 °С.


In Central Asia and Kazakhstan gray earths and gray earth-meadow soils prevail, in Transcaucasia – chestnut and brown, in the south of Ukraine and the North Caucasus – black earths.

Tasks of irrigated farming system

The main crops cultivated on irrigated lands in Central Asia, southern Kazakhstan and Transcaucasia are cotton, rice, sugar beet, alfalfa, corn, melons, developed horticulture and viticulture. Winter wheat, rice, corn, sugar beets, sunflowers, fodder crops and tobacco are grown in the south of Ukraine and the North Caucasus. Part of irrigated land is occupied by orchards, vineyards, pastures and hayfields. Spring wheat predominates in the steppe areas of the Trans-Volga region, significant areas are allocated for fodder crops, in the south of the zone – rice.

The limiting factor for agriculture in irrigated regions is moisture. Under such conditions, the farming system should ensure efficient use of moisture, reduce unproductive evaporation, and comply with irrigation technology.

The components of the farming system:

  • rational structure of sown areas, including the most valuable crops and varieties of intensive type;
  • crop rotations with high saturation of leading crops, including intermediate crops and crops that improve soil fertility;
  • rational system of tillage, aimed at improving agrophysical properties, contributing to the efficient use of irrigation water and atmospheric precipitation;
  • fertilizer system, providing optimal nutrient regime and increasing irrigation water use coefficient;
  • seed production system, providing for sowing of intensive type varieties, resistant to lodging, salinity, diseases and pests, capable of using life factors and giving the maximum yield of the best quality;
  • an integrated system of plant protection;
  • system of anti-erosion measures and soil protection from salinization and waterlogging;
  • rational organization of crop rotations, taking into account the size and shape of fields, placement and operation of ameliorative network;
  • placement of field-protective forest plantations.

Crop rotations system

In irrigated regions, depending on natural and economic conditions, we use row, cereal-grass-row, and cereal-row crop rotation systems.


Fundamentals of agricultural production technology. Farming and crop production. Edited by V.S. Niklyaev. – Moscow: Bylina, 2000. – 555 с.