Integrating Soil, Crop and Pest Monitoring Using Spatial Technology on Arkansas Cotton Farms to Achieve Nutrient Loss Reduction
Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit
2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The primary objective is to measure the effectiveness of the conservation practices associated with site specific fertilizer management, use of controlled release nitrogen and compare agronomic, economic and environmental outcomes with current producer practices.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The Little River Ditches Watershed and the Lower St. Francis WAtershed, listed as impaired due to turbidity and total dissolved solids are watersheds of enormous environmental and economic significance and steps must be taken to ensure its continued use. Monitoring includes: edge of field monitoring for water quality and quantity, crop production using COTMAN, and soil sampling.
A proposal was submitted and awarded an Arkansas Conservation Innovation Grant in support of irrigation research in cotton and soybean in collaboration with Arkansas State University, USDA-ARS, Judd Hill Foundation, Delta Plastics and University of Arkansas. Established six edge-of-field monitoring systems in cotton to collect water quantity and water quality data from three production sized cotton fields. Inventoried soil type at study sites through both manual and VERIS sampling to determine management zones. Deployed 90 soil moisture sensors in management zones to determine variability within the study sites. Submitted two proposals to the Cotton Incorporated Arkansas State Support Committee for funding in FY 2013. One in support of irrigation research in cotton to support the use of irrigation planning tools and the other is to provide support in production systems research that includes use of soil moisture sensors for irrigation timing decisions.