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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINING RURAL ECONOMIES THROUGH NEW WATER MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Cotton production potential and water conservation impact using the regional irrigation demand model of northern Texas

Authors
item Marek, Thomas - TEXAS AGRILIFE RES-AMA.
item Porter, Dana - TX AGRILIFE EXT-LUBBOCK
item Howell, Terry
item Gowda, Prasanna
item Colaizzi, Paul
item Amosson, Steve - TX AGRILIFE EXT-AMARILLO
item Bretz, Fran - TX AGRILIFE EXT-AMARILLO

Submitted to: Environmental and Water Resources Institute World Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 25, 2008
Publication Date: May 12, 2008
Citation: Marek, T., Porter, D., Howell, T.A., Gowda, P., Colaizzi, P.D., Amosson, S., Bretz, F. 2008. Cotton production potential and water conservation impact using the regional irrigation demand model of northern Texas. In: Proceedings of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute World Congress, May 12-16, 2008, Honolulu, Hawaii. 2008 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Irrigation water use represents almost 90% of the fresh water withdrawals from the Ogallala Aquifer in the 21 northernmost counties in Texas, identified as Panhandle Region (also known as Region A). An agricultural water use demand estimation model was used to estimate the agricultural irrigation water demands. Year 2000 demands were estimated using the existing mixture of crops, average crop water use values, and actual irrigation application practice values. The current demand values are expected to exceed the allowable water supply in several intensively irrigated counties within the region. Alternative lower water use crops like cotton were evaluated in terms of substitution for the present crops requiring greater water use like corn. Although cotton has significantly differing production requirements in northern Texas, successful production has been demonstrated in the northern Texas High Plains. The water savings impact of converting percentages of county crop acreages from corn to cotton was reported and discussed. The water conservation impact to the Ogallala Aquifer is calculated over the region’s current 60-year planning horizon. The potential impact of recent ethanol demands was also discussed.

Technical Abstract: Revised irrigation demands are calculated for the 21 northernmost counties in Texas, identified as Panhandle Region (also known as Region A), using the TAMA (Texas A&M–Amarillo) agricultural water use demand estimation model. Year 2000 demands are presented using the existing mixture of crops, average evapotranspiration values, and actual irrigation application practice values. Current demand values are expected to exceed the allowable water supply in several intensively irrigated counties within the region. Thus, the alternative lower water use crop of cotton is evaluated in terms of substitution potential for the presently produced, more intensive water use crop of corn. Although cotton has significantly differing production requirements in northern Texas, successful production has been documented at the North Plains Research Field (NPRF). Average yield parameters from this location are presented. The water savings impact of converting percentages of county acreages from corn to cotton is reported and discussed. The water conservation impact to the Ogallala Aquifer is calculated over the region’s current 60-year planning horizon. The potential impact of recent ethanol demands is briefly discussed.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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