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posted on 2023-11-30, 08:20 authored by Charles W. Robbins, Wayne S. Meyer, Sanmugam A. Prathapar, R.J.G. White

Effectively managing salt affected irrigated lands and judicially using irrigation water of marginal salinity quality requires understanding the interactions among many inputs. They include soil salinity, crop salt tolerances, soil physical properties, irrigation water quality, irrigation management, water table depth and quality, climatic factors and crop yield. Visualizing the simultaneous interactions among this many factors over a cropping season extends beyond the capacity of the human mind.

An interactive computer program was developed to simulate the interactions among the above factors. It shows how changing one factor impacts the outcome of the other factors for a single growing season. The user selects a climate, a crop, and soil characteristics from menu lists, and then sets the water table depth and quality, irrigation (river or well) water quality and then develops an irrigation schedule. On execution, the relative yield reductions due to over irrigation, under irrigation, and salinity, water table rise or fall and surface runoff are shown numerically for the growing season. Soil water content, soil salinity, water table depth changes and rain and irrigation events during the season are also shown graphically.

This is an educational tool designed to teach the concepts of salinity and irrigation management and IS NOT an irrigation scheduling program nor a management tool. Two versions have been developed, one using metric units, southern hemisphere growing seasons and Australian terminology, and a second using northern hemisphere growing seasons, with units and terminology currently used in US irrigated agriculture. An option in the US version also allows use of metric units.

The SWAGMAN acronym and the SWAGMAN-Whatif program copyrights are owned by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia. The SWAGMAN acronym is not to be used for other programs.

Resources in this dataset:


Agricultural Research Service,


Data contact name

Bjorneberg, David

Data contact email



United States Department of Agriculture


  • Not specified

ISO Topic Category

  • environment

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

computer software; irrigation water; salinity; soil salinity; soil physical properties; water quality; water table; climatic factors; crop yield; humans; growing season; rivers; irrigation scheduling; runoff; soil water content; soil water; rain; educational materials; terminology; United States; Australia; models

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Robbins, Charles W.; Meyer, Wayne S.; Prathapar, Sanmugam A.; White, R.J.G. (2019). SWAGMAN-Whatif. United States Department of Agriculture.