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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: IMPROVING PEANUT PRODUCTION WITH SURFACE DRIP IRRIGATION

Authors
item Zhu, Heping
item Lamb, Marshall
item Sorensen, Ronald
item Butts, Christopher
item Blankenship, Paul

Submitted to: American Peanut Research and Education Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2002
Publication Date: March 1, 2003
Citation: -

Interpretive Summary: Surface drip irrigation, due to its simplicity, has been used to irrigate many types of crops for many years. It can precisely deliver water, nutrients, and chemicals to the crop root zone. One of the greatest advantages of using surface drip irrigation is that the system can be installed easily with low initial investment and provide flexible irrigation schedules without using large pumps and wells. Surface drip irrigation could satisfy the need to irrigate regularly and irregularly shaped fields with a low initial investment. Peanut growers who rent land or who plan to use land for short term operations could use surface drip irrigation as well. However, no information on peanut production using surface drip irrigation is available in the scientific literature. A simple surface drip irrigation system was installed to irrigate peanut plants in an experimental plot during 2001. Drip tapes were placed on the soil surface in the middle line of the twin-row planting pattern. Soil moisture content and temperature were measured at different locations to track water movement and soil temperature from drip tapes. Test results were compared with the adjacent non-irrigated area planted with the same variety of peanut. The maximum soil temperature in the irrigated area was considerably lower than in the non-irrigated area. The difference in temperatures between the irrigated and non-irrigated areas increased as irrigation rate increased. Surface drip irrigation produced substantially higher yield than the non-irrigated area although rainfall during the growing season was sufficient for many crops.

Technical Abstract: A simple surface drip irrigation system was installed to irrigate twin-row peanut (Georgia Green) planted in Greenville type soil during 2001. Drip tapes were placed on the soil surface in the middle line of the twin-row planting pattern. Distance between two drip tapes was 0.91 m. Emitters were spaced 46 cm apart along the drip tape, and flow rate from each emitter was 1.26 L/h at 70 kPa. A centrifugal pump powered by a gasoline engine was used to deliver water from a 5500 L plastic tank to the drip tapes. Irrigation was scheduled with the decision support system, Irrigator Pro. A total of 19.3 cm of water was applied to the peanut crop during the entire growing season. Soil temperature and volumetric water content were measured at different locations to track soil temperature and water movement from drip tapes. Test results were compared with the adjacent non-irrigated area planted with the same variety of peanut. The maximum soil temperature in the irrigated area was substantially lower than in the non-irrigated area. The difference in temperatures between the irrigated and non-irrigated areas increased as irrigation rate increased. The soil temperature in the irrigated area was 29.0 C compared with 32.5 C in the non-irrigated plots 24 h after a 12.5 mm irrigation was applied. Similarly, 24 h after a 25 mm irrigation applied, the soil temperature in the irrigated plots was 26.6 C compared with 35.4 C in the non-irrigated plots. It took 92 h for the moisture content in the centerline to decrease from 30.5 to 27% after 25 mm of water was applied. Comparatively, it took 51 h for the moisture content to decrease from 30.5% to 27% after 12.5 mm of water was applied. About 16 h was required for water to travel 46 cm and then hold the moisture content for 14 h before decreasing for both 12.5 and 25 mm irrigation in the same area. Surface drip irrigation produced 5750 kg/ha which was 2018 kg/ha more than the non-irrigated area although rainfall during the growing season of 2001 was 59.8 cm. The quota value of peanut from the irrigated area was 3766 US $/ha while the non-irrigated area was 2525 US $/ha.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014