Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Water Project Overall View
headline bar

Click on images for larger size

 
 Bermuda Field Irrigated Bermudagrass Production in the Southeastern US: In the southeastern US, sustainable hay production for the cattle industry is needed to alleviate water deficit stress during the short periods of drought that are common in the region. We observed during low rainfall periods, both hay yields and forage quality increased significantly with irrigation. Irrigation management to maintain acceptable soil moisture can sustain and potentially increase bermudagrass hay production. 

Resources
:

Irrigation and Nitrogen Impact
...
(Abstract)   (PDF)

 Stroke rate figure


Stroke rate figure
Analysis of Stroke Rate and Soil Hydric Factors in the SC Coastal Plain: In the US, the southeastern Coastal Plain region of North and South Carolina and Georgia forms what is now known as the "Stroke Belt." People born within this region have higher rates of stroke, even after they migrate to other regions of the country. To determine if there was a link between soil properties and stroke rates, we correlated soil characteristics to regional stroke mortality rates. Relationships between several soil water measures including depth to water table, drainage class, and hydric rating to South Carolina stroke rate were demonstrated. This report results in the opening of a new frontier to determine the role of soil and water characteristics in human health. 

Resources
:

An Analysis of the Link
...
(Abstract)   (PDF)

 Surcane field Denitrification and Gas Emissions from Soils: Drainage is being reduced in the Everglades Agricultural Area to prevent phosphorus runoff. This will cause soils to have higher moisture and more anaerobic activity. The increased water table heights did not increase denitrification enzyme activity or the emission of N2O from Florida muck soils. 

Resources
:

Denitrification and Gas Emissions
...
(Abstract)

 Sensors in cotton research plots Mid-Atlantic CEAP-Wetland Study:  We have investigated denitrification in natural, converted, and restored wetlands of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. The investigation is part of the national U.S. Department of Agriculture Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP); it is a multi-agency effort to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices. The Mid-Atlantic regional CEAP-Wetland study is one of five regional studies underway as part of the national CEAP-Wetland effort. The DEA values varied significantly with relative elevation and management. The restored wetlands were more similar to the natural wetlands in all aspects of DEA.

Resources
:

Topographic effects on denitrification ...
(Abstract)  

 Image of cotton plant under drought stress Conservation Tillage for Drought Mitigation: Climate prediction models indicate that the southeastern US will experience more periods of drought. In a cotton production study comparing tillage systems from 1997-2002 (the last five years were during a major drought that affected most of North America), we found higher yields (25%) with conservation tillage than with conventional tillage. Conservation tillage for cotton production could be an important way to maintain productivity if climate change in the region occurs as predicted. 

Resources
:

Cotton Responses to Tillage...
(Summary)   (PDF)

 Center pivot variable rate irrigation Variable Rate Irrigation and Nutrient Management: Site-specific irrigation allows precise amounts of water and nutrients to be applied to specific areas where and when plants need them for optimal growth. How crops respond spatially to water and nutrients is needed to make recommendations for site-specific management decisions. We conducted a two-year study to determine how corn responds spatially to varying irrigation and nitrogen applications. 

Resources
:

Corn Yield Response... (Summary)   (PDF)


 Image of switchgrass Potential Impacts of Biomass Feedstock Production on Water Resource Availability: High fuel costs have scientists looking for alternatives to oil from waste materials and crops. However, use of crops to provide a significant amount of bioenergy involves new challenges for agriculture including management of water resources for both fuel and food. We reviewed and assessed potential bioenergy production based on its impact on water resources and the impact of water resources on bioenergy sustainability.  

Resources
:

The Potential Impacts of Biomass...
(Summary)   (PDF)

Center pivot variable rate irrigation

center pivot variable rate irrigation
 
Variable Rate Irrigation Management: While variable rate irrigation provides farmers with a tool to spatially allocate limited water resources along with potentially increasing profits, management of these irrigation systems requires rapid and reliable data. We conducted variable rate irrigation experiments using vegetative-index sensors mounted on both tractor and aircraft to estimate plant biomass and using infra-red thermometers mounted on a tractor to measure crop canopy temperatures.

ARS Scientists Collaborate to Increase Irrigation Accuracy


Resources
:

Water Flow Rates from a Site-Specific...
(Summary)   (PDF)

Opportunities for Conservation with Precision Irrigation...
(Summary)   (PDF)


 
  Specific Center Pivot irrigation experiment layout Improved Spatial Analysis for Site-specific Irrigation:   Variable rate or site-specific irrigation provides farmers with the ability to allocate limited water resources while potentially increasing profits. However, lack of basic knowledge about spatial and treatment-varying crop response to irrigation hinders irrigation management. A methodology was developed that explains the variations and also provides estimates of the uncertainty in the result. This new statistical methodology provides a much needed tool for crop advisors to better account for spatial variation in precision agricultural research.  

Resources
:

Semiparametric Geographically Weighted Response...  (Abstract)   (PDF)

  aerial view of peanut spatial irrigation Peanut Spatial Irrigation Management: Determining how best to use spatial irrigation technology will likely increase grower income while lowering water consumption by agriculture. We initiated an experiment to evaluate spatial irrigation scheduling using 1) soil water potentials, 2) the Irrigator Pro model for spatial management zones, and 3) the Irrigator Pro model for uniform management zones.

Resources
:

Variable Rate Irrigation Management... (Abstract)   (PDF)

Site-specific Irrigation of Peanuts...  (Abstract)    (PDF) 

 
grass forage crop Subsurface Drip Irrigation on Forage: We installed a subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) system to evaluate the feasibility of using SDI for effluent application to bermudagrass hay. Plots receiving treated effluent had significantly higher hay yields and significantly higher nutrient biomass removal rates than the commercial fertilizer treatments and did not adversely impact the soil or water quality.

Resources
:

Forage Subsurface Drip Irrigation Using... (Summary)   (PDF) 

Intake and Digestibility...(Summary)   (PDF)

Bioenergy from Coastal bermudagrass...
(Summary)  (PDF)  

  Gel showing Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (RISA) profiles Microbial Community Structures in Riparian Buffer Zones: Riparian buffers are a best management practice utilized extensively in the protection of freshwater ecosystems from agriculturally generated nitrate pollution. We studied the microbial community structure of a riparian buffer zone located adjacent to areas receiving heavy nitrate loads. A microbial fingerprinting method and 16S rDNA gene sequencing were used to examine the diversity and microbial community structure of a Coastal Plain riparian buffer zone system.

Click on images for larger size
Get Adobe Acrobat Reader


Last Modified: 11/7/2012
Footer Content Back to Top of Page