keywords: Water requirement; maize, basin irrigation, Lake Geriyo, infiltration, treatment
Maize constitutes one of the most widely consumed food sources in northern Nigeria. Water requirement is a key parameter in obtaining maximum yield for maize. The study aimed at determining the optimum water requirement of maize under basin irrigation system at Geriyo irrigation scheme. Six different amounts of water (30, 45, 60, 75, 90 and 105 mm) designated as A, B, C, D, E and F was applied to six different basins of the same size of 3×3 m. Maize (Zea mays) hybrid variety (Azam) was used as a trial crop. It was replicated three times in a randomized complete block design. Irrigation interval of seven days was used throughout the period. Three plots were established according to the slope variation of the land with each unit having a different land slope. Double ring infiltrometer was used to determine the infiltration rate of the plots and the value of 48 mm/hr obtained indicated that the soil in Geriyo irrigation scheme is suitable for irrigation due to its moderate intake rate couple with the soil textural classification which is found to be Silt-clay-loam. The rooting depth of the maize was found to be 1.65 m. The optimum water requirement for the crop under study was obtained to be 510 mm/total growing period, which gave the maximum yield of 2.36 t/ha (Treatments C). Peak evapotranspiration of 80.99 mm/week was obtained in treatment C indicating a fairly good result. The lowest yield of 1.64 t/ha was obtained in treatment E. An average yield of 1.88 t/ha was obtained for all the treatments. Irrigation water cost of ₦6,350 per hectare per season ₦529.20 per hectare per irrigation) was obtained for treatment C which was moderate as such more economical since maximum yield, highest income and profit were obtained. Thus, treatment C with an optimum water requirement of 510 mm/total growing period is the most suitable and appropriate amount of water to be applied for maximum crop yield, self-sustenance and profit making in basin irrigation system using 3 x 3 m basin sizes. Similar study is also recommended for other crops in the irrigation schemes.