Submitted to: National Information Management and Support System
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: June 28, 2007
Publication Date: July 5, 2007
Repository URL: http://nimss.umd.edu/homepages/home.cfm?trackID=4575
Citation: Sassenrath, G.F., Fisher, D.K., Thomson, S.J. 2007. Annual Report 2007 Multi-state research project on "Irrigation Management for Humid and Sub-Humid Areas" S1018.. National Information Management and Support System. http://nimss.umd.edu/homepages/home.cfm?trackID=4575 Interpretive Summary: The Multi-state research project on “Irrigation Management for Humid and Sub-Humid Areas” is a consortium of University, Extension, and Federal scientists working to address water management issues, primarily in the Southeastern US. The scientists meet annual to present research results, discuss collaborative research projects, and develop plans for future research programs. This report summarizes the research conducted by ARS scientists in the Application and Production Technology Research Unit in Stoneville, MS during 2007. The research team addressed three of the four project objectives, specifically: 1. improve automation, control, and distribution technology to increase irrigation efficiency; 2. improve irrigation scheduling methods and the knowledge/application base associated with crop coefficients, reference evapotranspiration predictions, precipitation forecasting, and field-based sensor systems as they relate to plant water use; and 4. enhance the transfer of irrigation technologies and management alternatives emphasizing economic and environmental benefits. Results from the research team will enhance production practices and improve profitability. The automated soil moisture instrumentation developed by the group will allow researchers and producers to continuously monitor soil moisture for less than half the cost of traditional monitoring systems. The accurate crop coefficients derived from weighing lysimeters will significantly improve irrigation scheduling guidelines through more accurate model coefficients. Conservation systems may store more water in the soil, limiting the need for supplemental irrigation and improving the economic return on investment.
Technical Abstract: This report summarizes the annual results from scientists at the Application and Production Technology Research Unit in Stoneville, as members of the multi-state research project on irrigation and water management S1018. The multi-state research project has four key objectives, three of which the Stoneville research team is working on. Irrigation efficiency will be improved through the use of accurate measurements of soil moisture status. The researchers have developed an inexpensive data collection instrument that automatically collects and records data from soil-moisture sensors in crop fields. The instrument continuously monitors soil moisture status, and allows researchers and producers to easily assess soil moisture conditions for making irrigation decisions. Irrigation scheduling methods are improved through more accurate information on crop water use. Using weighing lysimeters, the researchers measured reference and crop evapotranspiration for development of accurate crop coefficients. These are used in models predicting crop water use, and will greatly improve the accuracy of irrigation scheduling guidelines. Further enhancements to irrigation scheduling will be possibly through the use of measurement tools to determine crop water potential. Economic and environmental benefits of improved irrigation technologies and management alternatives are exploring the use of cover crops to better manage soil water in-season.