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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: EVALUATION OF LEVEL-BASIN IRRIGATION IN HIGH-RAINFALL ZONES

Location: Water Management and Conservation Research

2007 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to evaluate the performance of precision-graded, zero-slope level-basin irrigation systems as practiced in Louisiana, including seasonal water use, yield, water advance, and surface drainage (for irrigation water and rainfall) on rice and row crops (e.g., soybeans, corn, etc.) in comparison to traditional surface irrigation and precision-graded fields with slope.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Field studies will be conducted on cooperators' farms where level-basin irrigation is being used. Field sites will be instrumented to measure flow rates into and out of the selected fields. During representative irrigation events, measurements will be made of advance, water depths at selected locations and surface drainage or recession. Farm data on yield and irrigation labor will also be collected. Where possible, field data will be compared with results from existing simulation models. Documents SCA with Louisiana State University.Formerly 5347-13000-013-05S (12/06). Formerly 5347-13000-014-01S (2/07).


3.Progress Report
The report serves to document research conducted under a specific agreement between ARS and Louisiana State University. Additional details of this research can be found in the parent CRIS 5347-13000-015-00D

Field studies on level basins in Concordia Parrish, Louisiana have been completed. We identified a number of issues that still need to be resolved. We obtained a lot of data on irrigation practices and performance on some level and slightly sloping fields, but still do not have good recommendations on the basin area that can be efficiently irrigated with a given flow rate. The issue is using these basins for non-paddy crops in between rice crops. The flow rates for rice irrigation are very low, which makes them very inefficient for soy beans, corn or cotton. The infrequent need to irrigation, due to rainfall, and the travel distance have made this difficult to study logistically (impossible from Maricopa, but still difficult from Baton Rouge). We have proposed an extension bulletin to combine what collective knowledge we have obtained. This would be a combined effort from ARS in Maricopa and Missouri, and extension in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.

ADODR visited the site annually to make plans for the upcoming irrigation season and to review progress and expectations. Email correspondence through the year kept the ADODR up to date on issues regarding the research. ADODR reviewed spreadsheet analysis of data and written reports after each irrigation season. Email contact regarding progress was at least monthly during the irrigation season, and included digital pictures of the field site, data, and/or other relevant issues.


Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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