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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Development of Sustainable Production Systems and Water Management Technology for the Mid South

Location: Crop Production Systems Research Unit

Title: Web based irrigation scheduler

Authors
item Sassenrath, Gretchen
item Schmidt, Amy -
item Pringle, H -
item Fisher, Daniel
item Shrestha, B -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 10, 2010
Publication Date: November 10, 2010
Citation: Sassenrath, G.F., Schmidt, A., Pringle, H.C., Fisher, D.K., Shrestha, B. 2010. Web based irrigation scheduler. New Water Use Permitting Requirements, Yazoo Mississippi Delta Joint Water Management District: Poster number 1.

Technical Abstract: Increasing use of water in the Mid-South has led to depletion of water levels in aquifers, with few guidelines in place for farmers as to when and how much to irrigate. Irrigation can increase crop yields when water is applied correctly. Wise water management requires knowledge of how much water the crop needs and when the water is needed. Irrigation scheduling is a method of managing water to better match the timing and application of irrigation with crop water use. An irrigation scheduler is being developed for Mississippi that allows producers and crop consultants to track crop water use and develop an irrigation schedule for crop production. The irrigation scheduler is based on estimating crop water use from weather conditions and estimating total available soil moisture. A water balance is determined by taking the initial water in the soil, adding water from rainfall or irrigation, and subtracting water used by the crop or evaporated from the soil (ET). This “checkbook” method keeps track of the available water content of the soil and indicates the need for irrigation when the available soil water falls below that which is readily available for the plant. The checkbook method relies on knowledge of crop water use characteristics, soils, and weather during the growing season to make estimates of daily crop water use and show the need for irrigation. The web-based system is designed to automatically import information from national soil and weather databases into a central server. The irrigation scheduling system will give farmers important tools for improving their crop production system while conserving precious water resources.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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