Field experiments was conducted to determine the best irrigation scheduling and the proper period for injecting fertilizers through drip irrigation water in a sandy soil to optimize maize yield and water productivity. Four irrigation levels (0.6, 0.8, 1.0 and 1.2) of the crop evapotranspiration and two fertigation periods (applying the recommended fertilizer dose in 60 and 80% of the irrigation time) were applied in a split-plot design, in addition to a control treatment which represented conventional irrigation and fertilization of maize in the studied area. The results showed that increasing the irrigation water amount and the fertilizer application period increased vegetative growth and yield. The highest grain yield and the lowest one were obtained under the treatment at 1.2 and of 0.6 crop evapotranspiration, respectively. The treatment at 0.8 crop evapotranspiration with fertilizer application in 80% of the irrigation time gave the highest water productivity (1.631 kg m−3) and saved 27% of the irrigation water compared to the control treatment. Therefore, this treatment is recommended to irrigate maize crops because of the water scarcity conditions of the studied area.
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