Location: Soil and Water Management Research
2006 Annual Report
Evapotranspiration (ET) is commonly known as crop water use, which farmers must know in order to schedule irrigations for more efficient water use. Important gains have been made in dissemination of irrigated crop water use by the Texas High Plains Evapotranspiration (TXHPET) network in the Texas High Plains region. Operation, maintenance, and coordination of the TXHPET network, which is primarily an irrigation scheduling and water management tool, were conducted with significant success in FY2006. Daily weather station data were downloaded and processed, and ET was computed, compiled, and distributed in a timely manner to producers and also to research, extension, and other agricultural-related agencies and personnel. Over 340,000 pages of accurate, simplified, technical irrigation information were delivered to users, with approximately half being delivered by fax and half by internet downloads. In addition, either underpinning or supporting meteorological data were provided to and used in over 28 research CRIS projects of area research institutions.
In addition to the implementation of quality assurance and quality control measures on the TXHPET data, a new database and web-based delivery system was developed and unveiled to the research and extension sector and to the general irrigation public. A TXHPET listserv was programmed and unveiled that allows users to sign up and receive e-mail delivery of the water use and associated meteorological data each morning for any number of the TXHPET sites and data types. Daily urban grass water use data are also included in the listserv and are available via the electronic system. The on-line user has the ability to change his selection of stations and files at any time over the web.
An assessment of the energy distribution regarding on-farm irrigation pumping is needed if the probability and degree of adoption of alternative energy sources is to be adequately analyzed. On-farm irrigation is possibly the most suitable application of alternative fuels, since is it not always an energy-on-demand type use, as compared with other farming energy requirements. A situation analysis report is being developed that will include the following: irrigated acreage by state and power unit type (including diesel, gasoline, electric, LP, or natural gas); sprinkler irrigated acreage by state and system type (including sprinkler, side roll/wheel line, traveler, solid set, hand move, center pivot, and linear move); gravity irrigated acreage by state and system type (including flooding from ditches, open-ditch siphon type, gated solid pipe, and lay-flat pipe); low-flow acreage by state and system (including surface micro-spray, surface drip-trickle, subsurface drip-trickle, and buried perforated tape); and irrigated acreage by state, number of wells, average water depth, and well pump type (including vertical line shaft, submersible, stationary, and portable).
Porter, D., Marek, T., Howell, T. A., New, L. 2005. The Texas High Plains (TXHPET) User Manual, Amarillo Research and Extension Center Report, AREC 05-37 Version 1.01, November 2005, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Amarillo, Texas.
Porter, D., Marek, T., Howell, T.A., Michaels, J., Dusek, D. 2006. Supporting efficient irrigation management through the Texas High Plains evapotranspiration network. In: Proceedings of the 28th Annual Southern Conservation Systems Conference, June 26-28, 2006, Amarillo, Texas. p. 241.